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As Barclays Tried to Avoid Bailout, Russia Offered to Buy a Stake

  • Russian proposal in records shown to London jury in fraud case
  • Four ex-Barclays officials on trial for fraud during crisis
A Barclays bank branch in Moscow in 2011.

A Barclays bank branch in Moscow in 2011.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov

During the height of the financial crisis, as Barclays Plc was desperately battling to avoid taking a U.K. bailout, the bank got an unusual approach from the Russian government.

The Russian government signaled its intention to take a 500 million-pound ($641 million) stake in the lender, according to minutes of an October 2008 finance committee meeting that was shown to a jury during the fraud trial of senior Barclays officials. With the involvement of Hans-Joerg Rudloff, a Barclays banker with close links to the Russian government, Moscow was proposing to take a 1.5 percent stake.