Report: UK fraud office steps up probe into Barclays over Qatar

Bank’s former chief executives set to be questioned over arrangements with Qatar, the FT reports

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The UK fraud office stepped up its probe into British bank Barclays Plc’s dealings with Qatar, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Officials at Barclays were not immediately available for comment Sunday afternoon.

Bob Diamond and John Varley, both former chief executives of the bank, and other senior members of Barclays’ former management are set to be questioned under caution by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the article said.

The Financial Times said this was an acceleration of the SFO’s probe into allegedly corrupt arrangements with Qatar as part of the bank’s emergency cash call in 2008.

For Barclays, which launched a big restructuring plan last week to boost lagging profitability, the news is an unwelcome reminder of the legacy issues hanging over the bank.

“They’ve just sliced off two arms and a leg, and still someone’s out to get them,” said one person involved, according to the article.

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