In July 2017, the SFO brought criminal charges against Barclays Bank and four of its former directors - John Varley, Richard Boath, Tom Kalaris and Roger Jenkins - in connection with their role in raising almost £12bn from Middle Eastern investors in 2008, in order to avoid the financial collapse of the Bank.
The Bank and the directors have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representations made during the 2008 cash call. The charges relate to advisory services agreements which the Bank agreed with its Qatari investors, whereby the Bank agreed to pay £322m over five years. Whilst Barclays asserts the monies were paid for services rendered by the investors, the SFO alleges that they were additional payments agreed in return for the investments made in 2008, which were not properly disclosed as such by the Bank. The second charge is for unlawful assistance and relates to a US$3bn loan which the Bank made to Qatar at the time of the cash call.
The directors have been granted bail; John Varley and Richard Boath were granted unconditional bail, but Tom Kalaris, who is a dual US and British citizen and Roger Jenkins, who lives in California both had to post security for bail of £500,000. The claims are set to run for a considerable period. The SFO has faced criticism for the length of time it has taken to bring its claims.