Barclays-Qatar Probe Charging Decisions to Come Early Next Yearby and
SFO lawyer says agency has completed re-interviewing suspects
Agency is investigating alleged corruption in 2008 fundraising
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office said it had finishing re-interviewing suspects for its probe into Barclays Plc’s 2008 Qatar fundraising, and expects to make a decision on whether to file criminal charges early next year.
The SFO first interviewed about a dozen former executives in 2014 and is reviewing about 100,000 documents as part of an investigation into fees paid by the bank during its 7 billion-pound ($8.8 billion) fundraising. A number of Barclays managers were questioned for a second time in recent months, including ex-Chief Executive Officer John Varley and two officials who oversaw parts of operations in the Middle East, Roger Jenkins and Richard Boath.
The SFO still has a number of witnesses to interview, the agency’s lawyer Matthew Parker said at a London court hearing Monday.
The fraud prosecutor’s lawyer made the comments in a separate civil lawsuit brought by investment firm PCP Capital Partners, which is seeking 750 million pounds from the bank for its role in the deals.
Barclays avoided a government rescue during the financial crisis by raising money from Middle Eastern investors in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. PCP, Amanda Staveley’s investment firm, has made a number of allegations against the bank, including that it secretly loaned Qatar $3 billion for the share purchase.
A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment.