Mar 3, 2020

Barclays acquittals show SFO’s ‘waste and incompetence’

Last week's acquittals of my client Richard Boath and two other former Barclays bankers should serve as the starting gun for a top-to-bottom review of the UK Serious Fraud Office for waste and incompetence. Qatar insisted on better returns than the other investors and the SFO alleged that in order to meet this demand, Barclays entered into sham advisory agreements with Qatar that saw the bank pay £322 million in fees in exchange for nothing. The SFO further alleged the arrangement allowed the bank to avoid disclosing the payments to the market. Despite interviewing board members and the many lawyers involved, the SFO failed to call any live factual witnesses. The Barclays case raises serious questions because of the different decisions taken by the FCA and SFO, and the time and money involved.

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