Jan 23, 2019

Former Barclays chief dishonestly misled market, jury hears

The former chief executive of Barclays and three other top brass at the bank lied to the market in official documents published at the time of two emergency fundraisings at the height of the financial crisis, a jury has heard. John Varley became on Wednesday the first chief executive of a major bank to sit in a dock to face a jury trial over actions taken during the crisis. "Additional commission fees for investing were paid to the Qataris, say the Crown; additional commission fees that were not paid to other investors and were not revealed. It is the hiding of these additional commission fees which lies at the heart of this case and the conspiracies alleged against the defendants, disguising and hiding extra fees to the tune, ultimately, of a total of nearly a third of a billion pounds," Edward Brown QC for the SFO told the jury in the opening day of the trial. Mr Brown told the jury that potential investors in capital calls and the wider market assume that all investors are paid the same, and need to know if any additional commissions are paid. A fifth alleged co-conspirator, Chris Lucas, was the chief financial officer and board member of Barclays in 2008.

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