UK steps up charges against Barclays over Qatar financing

FILE - A July 29, 2015 file photo shows the sign on a branch of Barclays Bank in London. British prosecutors have charged Barclays Bank Plc with illegally providing a $3 billion loan to Qatar as it sought an investment that helped the bank avoid a government bailout at the height of the financial crisis. The Serious Fraud Office on Monday Feb. 12, 2018 charged Barclays' operating unit with unlawful financial assistance for giving the loan to Qatar Holding LLC in 2008 β€œfor the purpose of directly or indirectly acquiring shares in Barclays Plc.’’ (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

LONDON β€” British prosecutors have brought another charge against Barclays over its 2008 deal to give Qatar a loan that was then used to invest in the bank and save it from a government bailout.

The Serious Fraud Office on Monday charged Barclays' operating unit with unlawful financial assistance for giving the $3 billion loan to Qatar Holding LLC in 2008 "for the purpose of directly or indirectly acquiring shares in Barclays Plc."

The agency had already charged the Barclays parent company and four executives with conspiracy to commit fraud and providing unlawful financial assistance after an investigation into the Qatar fundraising. Monday's move raises the stakes as it could threaten Barclays' global operations.

Barclays says it "does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers."

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