Expert Lawyer Comments On Case
Three former Barclays executives have today been found not guilty of fraud. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced the charges in 2017, following a five-year investigation.
Barclays’ ex-investment banking chief, Roger Jenkins, ex-European financial institutions head, Richard Boath, and the former head of its wealth division, Thomas Kalaris, were all acquitted at the Old Bailey, following a five-month trial. Former finance director Christopher Lucas would have also faced the charges, but was deemed not fit to stand trial due to is ill health.
The allegations against the executives were based on the funnelling of secret fees to Qatar amounting to £322 million, in return for the injection of £3.9 billion in two payments in June and October 2008. This was amid the potential UK government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, which would have placed Barclays under government control.
The level of fees amounted to more than double the typical amount paid to other investors at the time. The SFO claimed that Barclays were attempting to hide these high fees behind pretend agreements for advisory services.
Expert Opinion"This was one of the most ambitious prosecutions brought by the SFO, and is the only criminal trial to have been brought against banking executives for their actions during the 2008 financial crisis. The verdict is a significant blow for the SFO, to be added to other recent high-profile acquittals in Deferred Prosecution Agreement-related charges against executives of Tesco and Sarclad, as well as the acquittal of former Barclays chief executive John Varley in April 2019, following a previous trial which included the other executives mentioned." Craig Weston - Senior Associate - Barrister