Former Barclays CEO John Varley in Court on Fraud Charges

Former Barclays PLC Chief Executive John Varley and three other former executives appeared in a West London court Monday to face fraud charges over deals struck to secure emergency Mideast funding during the financial crisis.

Lawyers representing Mr. Varley and Roger Jenkins, a former senior Barclays investment banker, said their clients intended to plead not guilty to the charges. A lawyer representing Barclays, which was also charged, said the bank hadn't yet come to a decision on its own position.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office has spent five years investigating how Barclays wooed Qatari investors to prop up the bank. In total, Barclays raised GBP11.8 billion ($15 billion) from investors through two emergency cash calls in June and October 2008. Its examination has focused on GBP322 million in "advisory services" that were paid to Qatari investors as part of the cash injection, an agreement that wasn't initially disclosed to shareholders. The SFO also scrutinized a $3 billion loan facility to the state of Qatar made by Barclays just weeks after the October equity raise.

On Monday, a judge said Mr. Jenkins and Thomas Kalaris, a former Barclays executive who worked alongside him on the Qatari capital injections, would have to post GBP500,000 bail. Mr. Varley and Richard Boath, who headed the bank's European financial institutions group, were granted unconditional bail. The trial will now be heard in a South London court starting July 17.

The Serious Fraud Office charged the four men and Barclays with conspiracy to commit fraud. Messrs. Varley and Jenkins, along with the bank, were charged with providing unlawful financial assistance in connection with the $3 billion loan. English law forbids a company from giving someone money to buy its shares.

Mr. Boath has previously said he would fight the charges. Mr. Kalaris's lawyer previously declined to comment.

Write to Max Colchester at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 03, 2017 13:32 ET (17:32 GMT)