May 22, 2018

Barclays clears another legal hurdle on road to recovery

The decision by the Crown Court to dismiss charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office over cash injections Barclays arranged from Qatari investors to survive the financial crisis is the first sign that the long-running legal battle may be going in the bank's favour. The SFO is "Likely to seek to reinstate these charges," according to Barclays. The Barclays Qatar prosecution was seen as the SFO's flagship case when David Green took over in 2012 seeking to repair the agency's reputation after a series of blunders. Sue Hawley of Corruption Watch questioned whether there may be "Serious failings" in the corporate liability regime in the UK. The dismissal of the charges against Barclays comes as a blow to SFO, which has been without a permanent director since David Green left last month. There have been convictions - such as those relating to rigging of the Libor rate, in which the SFO secured the convictions of Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader, and four former Barclays employees - but there have also been eight acquittals.

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