The Serious Fraud Office case against John Varley marks the first time the head of a global bank has faced criminal charges for activities during the crisis, when big lenders across Europe and the US were being rescued by taxpayers.
The SFO charged Barclays yesterday with three counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and unlawful financial assistance over its arrangements with Qatari investors who ploughed a total of ￡6.1bn into the bank in June and October 2008.
The case centres on side deals with the investors, which were part of the cash infusions and not fully disclosed to the market. The fundraisings allowed the bank to remain independent of the -government at a time when two of its biggest British rivals — Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group — had to accept taxpayer money.
本案焦点是巴克莱与卡塔尔投资者达成的附带交易，这些交易是注资的一部分，但当时未向市场充分披露。这些筹资活动使该行得以不依靠政府，而当时它的两大英国竞争对手——苏格兰皇家银行(RBS)和劳埃德银行集团(Lloyds Banking Group)——不得不接受纳税人资金。
At the time that Barclays received the two investments, it promised to pay Qatari investors ￡322m for helping it develop business in the Gulf. And in November 2008, Barclays agreed to -provide a $3bn loan facility to the state of Qatar. The SFO has investigated whether these transactions were intended as undisclosed inducements for the Qataris to invest and whether the loan was secretly reinvested in the bank.
In addition to Mr Varley, the SFO has charged Roger Jenkins, the rainmaker who put the deals together; Tom Kalaris, the trusted lieutenant of the head of the investment bank; and Richard Boath, who ran its corporate finance business.
除了韦骏贤外，面对严重欺诈办公室刑事指控的还有撮合这些交易的“造雨者”罗杰?詹金斯(Roger Jenkins)；投行部门负责人的亲信汤姆?卡拉里斯(Tom Kalaris)；以及执掌巴克莱企业融资业务的理查德?博思(Richard Boath)。
The defendants, including Barclays’ parent group, are due in court in London on July 3. Barclays said it was considering its position. “Barclays awaits further details of the charges from the SFO.”
The case strikes at the heart of -Barclays’ status as one of the few big British banks to survive the period without government help. “This is the most significant charging decision for the SFO in recent times, if not ever,” said Sarah Wallace of legal firm Irwin Mitchell.
本案直击巴克莱的地位，即它是少数几家在没有获得政府帮助的情况下挺过金融危机的英国大银行之一。“这是严重欺诈办公室近年作出的最重大刑事起诉决定，如果不是史上最重大决定的话，”欧文?米切尔律师事务所(Irwin Mitchell)的萨拉?华莱士(Sarah Wallace)表示。
Markets were in turmoil in 2008 when Barclays turned to Qatar. In the second cash call in October — a month after Lehman’s bankruptcy — Barclays tapped investors from the royal families of Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
Lawyers for Mr Varley and Mr Kalaris declined to comment. Mr Jenkins’ lawyer, Brad Kaufman, said his client would “vigorously defend against these charges”. Mr Boath said he would contest the charge against him “vigorously”.