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The headquarters of Barclays Bank, London, February 2017. LEON NEAL / AFP

Three former Barclays executives appear in London court on Monday 7 October for fraud. The British Investment Bank reportedly raised, without disclosing, billions of pounds sterling in Qatar in 2008.

The case dates back to 2008. Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath are respectively chairman of the investment bank in the Middle East, head of the division of wealth management and head of the European branch of finance. business. At the height of the financial crisis, the three men , according to the accusation, appealed to Qatar to bail Barclays bank for more than 13 billion euros. They wanted to avoid nationalization of the bank, which would have ended its independence and would have deprived them of their bonus.

Greed pointed finger

" I woke up at 2am, panicking at the prospect of being nationalized soon " because the British government "will not look kindly at a salary in excess of $ 1 million, " said Roger Jenkins. He had in fact earned 39.5 million pounds (more than 44 million euros) in 2007. He also received a bonus of 25 million pounds Barclays for intervening several times with the Qataris.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the British policeman against financial crime, blames the former leaders of Barclays for not having properly informed the markets and investors on commissions of several hundred million euros paid in 2008 by the Qatari investor bank, in exchange for two fundraisings, conducted in June and October 2008 with Qatar Holding LLC, a sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, and Challenger Universal Ltd.

Fraud and misrepresentation for fraud

To justify these commissions, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath have signed agreements on alleged consulting services with, among others, Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, then Prime Minister of Qatar. The Serious Fraud Office denounces " a masquerade " to pour by " dishonest mechanisms " the additional commissions required by the Qataris. Charges that former leaders deny en bloc.

The river trial that starts on Monday at the Central Court of the British Crown could last for months. The defendants risk ten years in prison, knowing that John Varley, the former chief executive of Barclays, co-accused in a previous trial, was acquitted last June. In addition, the criminal proceedings instituted by the SFO against the bank itself were filed by a court last year. However, this lawsuit is an important issue for the British police against financial crime, widely criticized for failing to sue companies and individuals involved in the financial crisis.