In 2008, the biggest banks in the Western world were being bailed out by their governments. Barclays, however, raised billions of dollars on its own to fortify its balance sheet and sidestep the inconvenience of having its executives' compensation and bankers' bonus pools subject to regulatory dictates.
Now it turns out that not everything was what it seemed.
Barclays Plc. (NYSE: BCS), the holding company that controls Barclays Bank Plc. (NYSE: BCS-PD), and four former top Barclays executives have been charged with fraud relating to how they raised the money that saved the bank and their paychecks from government oversight.
Whether they were just trying to save taxpayers money or their compensation packages will now be determined in criminal court.
But in the court of public opinion, the verdict's already being tallied.
Get caught up on what they did and how, and then cast your vote here…
Guilty or innocent?
A Law Unto Themselves
Here are the facts of the case.
The United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office has charged the following with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in the bank's June 2008 fundraising campaign…
- Barclays Plc.
- John Varley (Barclays' former CEO)
- Roger Jenkins (Barclays' former chairman of investment banking for the Middle East)
- Thomas Kalaris (the former chief of the bank's wealth division)
- Richard Boath (the former head of the bank's European financial institutions group)
In addition, Barclays, Mr. Varley, and Mr. Jenkins face the same charges over an October fundraising campaign, as well as charges of unlawful financial assistance.
While Varley and Jenkins face three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and unlawful assistance, Boath and Kalaris each face one count of fraud.
A London court hearing is scheduled for July 3, 2017.
The case relates to the Bank and four former executives paying 322 million British pounds ($408 million USD) in fees for a 4.5-billion-pound loan facility. That loan facility was part of a 12 billion pound raise from Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, Challenger Universal, the vehicle of the former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, and other investors.
The bank paid lenders fees as part of a so-called "advisory services agreement" (ASA), which in 2013 drew the attention of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, who warned Barclays it could face a fine over improper disclosure of the fees paid.
The FCA believed the fees were designed "not to obtain advisory services but to make additional payments, which would not be disclosed, for the Qatari participation in the capital raisings."
About the Author
Shah Gilani is the Event Trading Specialist for Money Map Press. In Zenith Trading Circle Shah reveals the worst companies in the markets - right from his coveted Bankruptcy Almanac - and how readers can trade them over and over again for huge gains. He also writes our most talked-about publication, Wall Street Insights & Indictments, where he reveals how Wall Street's high-stakes game is really played.