What exactly is Barclays being accused of?
During the 2008 crisis, Barclays took a £12bn loan from Qatar Holdings, a financial vehicle owned entirely by the gulf state, instead of accepting assistance form the United Kingdom government, like the bailouts issued to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.
That included a $3bn loan made to Qatar acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008. That loan may have broken the law if the SFO can prove that it was linked directly to the Qatari payment.
Both the main company and Barclays Bank intend to defend the charges against them, it said.
A date for a first court appearance is yet to be set.
However, there are reasons to doubt whether the bank's license is really under threat. This licence could be withdrawn if Barclays Bank is found guilty. At this stage, that looks unlikely though. Regulatory approvals and banking licences are usually tied to banks' operating units, through which products and services are provided.
And investors appear pretty sanguine too.More news: Wichita schools will return to a longer school year
Barclays shares were up 0.3 per cent to 193.4 pence by 4:09pm GMT, helped by a broader market rebound and UBS raising its price target for the stock to 225 pence from 220 pence.
This follows charges brought against the holding company, Barclays Plc, and four individuals in June 2017.
Barclays is facing a new threat to its ability to do business after prosecutors brought a second criminal charge against it over its £12 billion emergency funding during the financial crisis.
Barclays faces other legal issues ahead, with regulators weighing up how to respond to attempts by Barclays CEO Jes Staley to unmask a whistleblower.
How significant is the charge against Barclays Bank?
Regulators are in the process of deciding how to respond to attempts by the group's chief executive officer, Jes Staley, to unmask a whistleblower's identity past year.