Jun 21, 2019

Former Barclays chief John Varley acquitted in fraud case

John Varley, the former chief executive of Barclays, has been cleared after a high-profile fraud trial over crisis-era payments the UK bank made to Qatar. Mr Varley was acquitted of two counts of fraud after the Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed a challenge by the Serious Fraud Office, which had accused Mr Varley and three former colleagues of fraud by false representation. His acquittal ends more than six years of legal wrangling for the former Barclays boss, who remains the only chief executive of a major bank to have faced a jury over events during the financial crisis. The SFO had pressed ahead with charging the lender even though the Bank of England warned the SFO in 2017 that criminal charges against the corporate could destabilise Barclays. In April, the presiding judge, Mr Justice Jay, threw out the case against Mr Varley halfway through the trial on the basis that the SFO had not presented enough evidence against him on either count and so he had no case to answer.

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