UK prosecutors to decide on charges over Barclays Qatar case next week - source

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 16, 2017 23:05 hrs
FILE PHOTO: The Barclays headquarters building is seen in the Canary Wharf business district of London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is to announce on Tuesday whether it will bring criminal charges against Barclays and some of its former senior executives over a 2008 emergency fundraising from Qatar, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The SFO has been investigating for nearly five years whether commercial agreements between banking group Barclays Plc and Qatari investors as part of a total 12 billion pound ($15 billion) fundraising at the height of the credit crisis breached UK law.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Barclays plans to plead guilty to charges that it failed to make proper disclosures about the fundraising and is braced for a fine, which would likely range from 100 million to 200 million pounds.

Barclays and the SFO declined to comment on the Bloomberg report and on the timing of the charging announcement.

Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, invested around 5.3 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) in Barclays in June and October 2008.

Authorities have been examining whether payments from Barclays to Qatar at the same time, such as around 322 million pounds in "advisory services agreements" (ASA), alongside a multi-billion-dollar loan, were honest and properly disclosed.

The inquiry is one of several legal issues inherited by Barclay's current Chief Executive Jes Staley that date back to the credit crisis.

The bank already faces a proposed fine of about 50 million pounds for being "reckless" after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it did not disclose all "advisory services agreements" to Qatar, although that inquiry is ongoing.

(Reporting By Huw Jones and Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Elaine Hardcastle)

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