The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), after a five-year probe into the emergency £11.8bn fundraising Barclays undertook in 2008 with Qatar to avoid a British government bailout, has charged four key bank executives.

Charges of conspiracy to commit fraud are brought against the lender as well as former top executives John Varley, Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath. The maximum penalty for the executives for conspiracy to commit fraud is 10 years in prison. For the company, a fine would be determined.

SFO has also charged the bank, Varley and Jenkins with the provision of unlawful financial assistance contrary to the Companies Act 1985. The maximum charge for the executives for the provision of unlawful financial assistance contrary to the Companies Act 1985 is two years in prison. For the company, a fine would be determined.

Barclays Four
The Barclays Four (clockwise from top left): John Varley, Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris, Richard Boath Getty/Reuters

John Varley

Trained solicitor John Varley, 61, joined Barclays in 1982 as part of the corporate finance department and rose to become chief executive in 2004, taking over from Matthew Barrett. Varley was a flambuoyant figure who favoured colourful braces around the office.

John Varley Barclays
File Photo: Barclays Plc Chief Executive John Varley makes his way from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

At the time of the Qatar fundraising, the bank also entered into a so-called advisory services agreement with Qatar Holding, for £42m, in exchange for helping the Kingdom develop business in the Gulf. Varley is understood to have signed this agreement after it was approved by the board.

Oxford-educated Varley was succeeded by American Bob Diamond in 2011. Among his current interests Varley has been a member of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation since 2013.

Roger Jenkins

Roger Jenkins, 61, was executive chairman of investment banking and investment management in the Middle East and North Africa for the bank at the time of the Qatar affair.

Roger Jenkins
Roger Jenkins and Elle Macpherson are pictured at the residence of the French ambassador to the US in Washington, DC on 28 April 2012 Dimitrios Kambouris/VF12/WireImage

Over the course of 2008 he is thought to have masterminded two key deals with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, at the time Qatar's Prime Minister and chair of the country's sovereign wealth fund.

The pair had met in Sardinia on holiday the previous summer. Known as HBJ, the minister would help pump billions into the bank. The goal was to save it from government ownership, even as its rivals Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group were bailed out.

Jenkins joined Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual in 2011.

Thomas Kalaris

This trusted American executive spanned the swashbuckling John Varley and Bob Diamond era. Kalaris, 61, ran Barclays' wealth management business, and under Diamond's rein was known as one of the "four musketeers" at the bank. He, Diamond, Rich Ricci and Jerry del Missier, who co-ran Barclays investment bank were known as the key men at the business.

Thomas Kalaris Barclays
File Photo: Thomas L. Kalaris, Barclays Chief Executive, Wealth Management, gestures during the Reuters wealth management summit in Geneva October 3, 2006. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Last August Kalaris launched Saranac Partners in London, a private family office offering investment management as well as capital and financing advice.

Richard Boath

Boath, one of the Barclays' most senior bankers, claimed he was fired by the lender as a result of what he told the Serious Fraud Office during the Qatar investigation into the group.

Richard Boath
Richard Boath, former Barclays co-head of global finance in Europe and the Middle East Linkedin

Boath, 58, was co-head of global finance in Europe and the Middle East at the time it raised funds with Qatar and other investors in 2008.

Boath claimed he was unfairly dismissed and last year took the bank to the East London Employment Tribunal. However, after several days of hearings the case was adjourned until later this year.