Barclays chief exec Bob Diamond quits
Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has quit after the bank was engulfed in London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) fixing and interest rate swap misselling scandals.
Marcus Agius, who had been set to leave the bank, is to become full-time chairman and lead the search for a new chief executive. Agius will chair the executive committee, pending the appointment of a new chief executive, and will be supported by deputy chairman Michael Rake.
Diamond says: “My motivation has always been to do what I believed to be in the best interests of Barclays. No decision over that period was as hard as the one that I make now to stand down as chief executive. The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise - I cannot let that happen.
“I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth. I know that each and every one of the people at Barclays works hard every day to serve our customers and clients. That is how we support economic growth and the communities in which we live and work.”
Last week, Barclays was fined £290m by the FSA and US authorities after it admitted that derivative traders manipulated Libor. Chancellor George Osborne confirmed RBS, HSBC, UBS and Citibank are also being investigated.
The Serious Fraud Office says it is considering bringing criminal prosecutions over the manipulation of Libor rates.
Last week, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland agreed a settlement with the FSA to pay “appropriate redress” to small and medium sized businesses that were missold interest rate swaps. Following a two-month review of the sale of interest rate swaps by the banks, the FSA says it has found “serious failings” in the way the products were sold.
Diamond (pictured) has repeatedly resisted calls to resign over the last week. He is due to appear before the Treasury select committee tomorrow to answer questions about the failings that lead to the Libor fixing and interest rate swap misselling.
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