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Barclays faces trial over $3 billion Qatar loan

12 February 2018

Monday's additional charge was brought against Barclays' operating company, which holds the lender's banking license. The holding company has also been charged with providing unlawful assistance to Qatar.

The new charge, in theory at least, puts the bank's entire existence at risk: if it is found guilty its license could be revoked. Barclays Bank has now been charged with the same offence.

The emergency fundraising at the centre of the SFO case allowed Barclays to avoid the fate of its bailed-out rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

A loan to Qatar in November 2008 could have broken the law if the SFO can show it was connected with the Qatari payments to Barclays.

"Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a effect of the charge having been brought", the bank said in a statement.

Former chief executive John Varley, former senior investment banker Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris, a former chief executive of Barclays' wealth division, and Richard Boath, the ex-European head of financial institutions, were all charged in relation to that investigation.

Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank said in a statement that they intend to defend themselves against the charges, and do not expect there will be an impact on customers or clients as a result of the investigation.

It will be the first time that a British bank has faced a criminal trial over its conduct during the financial crisis.

Barclays faces trial over $3 billion Qatar loan