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One of the world's biggest banks has been charged in a Qatar-linked case

LONDON — British authorities on Tuesday charged Barclays and four former executives with conspiracy to commit fraud and the provision of illegal financial assistance linked to loan funds for Qatar.

The charges relate to the bank's capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding and Challenger Universal amid the 2008 financial crisis, and a US$3 billion loan facility for the Qatar government the same year, the Serious Fraud Office said.

They follow a five-year investigation into the arrangements, which the Financial Times said had helped Barclays to "stave off U.K. government control" during a financial crisis.

"Barclays is considering its position in relation to these developments," the bank said in a statement responding to the charges.

Challenger Universal was an investment vehicle for Qatar's former prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani.

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