Britain’s SFO denied permission to reinstate charges against Barclays


By Emma Rumney and Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – A judge on Friday denied the Serious Fraud Office’s application to reinstate charges against Barclays (L:BARC) over its 2008 capital raising, potentially ending the biggest remaining legal headache facing the bank over its conduct during the financial crisis.

A British court in May had dismissed the charges against the bank, a decision the SFO said at the time it would seek to reverse by applying to the High Court to reinstate them.

Barclays denies the SFO’s allegation that a $3 billion loan it made to Qatar in November 2008 was connected with a Qatari investment in the British bank which ultimately helped Barclays avoid a British government rescue during the financial crisis.

Qatar, which is a major investor in Britain, has not been accused of wrongdoing, but public companies in Britain are normally prohibited from lending money for the purchase of their own shares, known as “financial assistance”.

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