Jan 6, 2019

Former Barclays executives prepare to face fraud trial

The UK Serious Fraud Office has made a last-minute personnel change to ensure its flagship case against four former Barclays top brass is properly overseen as one of the biggest tests in its 30-year history comes to trial. The stakes for the SFO, which has spent millions of pounds in ringfenced money from the Treasury investigating the case over more than six years, are high after bloody noses in other trials recently, including the collapse of the retrial of two former Tesco executives late last year. SFO charges against Barclays itself and its operating subsidiary over the Qatari arrangements were also scrubbed in October, sparing the bank from trial. The agency's director, Lisa Osofsky, had to recuse herself from the Barclays case following her arrival at the SFO in late August from private practice, where she was a monitor to banks trying to overhaul their compliance. Marcus Agius, the bank's chairman at the time of the two emergency fundraisings, is also expected to give evidence for the SFO. Other witnesses include Stephen Jones, the former Barclays banker who now heads UK Finance, the trade body.

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