London judge discharges jury in landmark Barclays Qatar case

Workers are seen in at Barclays bank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London. (Reuters)
Updated 08 April 2019

London judge discharges jury in landmark Barclays Qatar case

  • Jury discharged in landmark trial
  • Reporting restrictions in place

LONDON: A London jury has been discharged in a landmark fraud trial of four former Barclays executives accused of paying Qatar undisclosed fees to help rescue the bank at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.
Judge Robert Jay told the jury at Southwark Crown Court on Monday he was required to discharge them. No further details could be published due to continued reporting restrictions.
Former chief executive John Varley, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath are charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation when Barclays raised more than 11 billion pounds ($14 billion) from investors in 2008, allowing the British bank to avoid a state bailout.
Prosecutors allege the bankers excluded from public documents and hid from other investors around 322 million pounds in fees paid to the Qatari investors through so-called advisory service agreements (ASAs).
The defendants deny wrongdoing and said they had relied on legal advice.
The prosecution, brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office, is the first jury trial of a leading bank’s CEO over conduct during the financial crisis.
Qatari investors plowed around 4 billion pounds into Barclays during two fund raisings in June and October 2008.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.