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Ex-Barclays CEO Varley cleared of fraud charges linked to 2008 Qatar rescue

Ex-Barclays CEO Varley cleared of fraud charges linked to 2008 Qatar rescue

FILE PHOTO: Former Barclays CEO John Varley arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain, January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay LONDON (Reuters) – Ex-Barclays chief executive John Varley, was acquitted of fraud charges on Friday after senior judges said there was insufficient evidence against him in a case about Qatari cash injections that saved the

FILE PHOTO: Former Barclays CEO John Varley arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain, January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – Ex-Barclays chief executive John Varley, was acquitted of fraud charges on Friday after senior judges said there was insufficient evidence against him in a case about Qatari cash injections that saved the bank from a state bailout in 2008.

The SFO case marked the first time the head of a global bank faced criminal charges over conduct during the credit crisis, when the financial system was brought to its knees and taxpayers paid billions of pounds to shore up the banking industry.

Prosecutors at Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had charged Varley with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, alleging he plotted to pay Qatar secret fees to help rescue Barclays, one of the few major British banks to survive the credit crisis without direct government aid.

But judges at the Court of Appeal in London ruled the SFO’s evidence against Varley, who denied wrongdoing, was insufficient to proceed. The SFO declined to comment on the case.

Prosecutors alleged that Varley and three other former Barclays executives misled shareholders and other investors by not disclosing that the bank paid an extra 322 million pounds to Qatar during a two-part 11 billion pound emergency fundraising in June and October 2008.

Roger Jenkins, the then Barclays chairman of investment management in the Middle East, ex-wealth management head Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath, who headed the corporate finance business, deny any wrongdoing.

The case against the three men is to be retried at a date, which has yet to be determined.

Reporting by Iain Withers; Writing by Kirstin Ridley and Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Carolyn Cohn

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