Legal

Senior Exodus Continues From Barclays Amid LIBOR Scandal

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 4 July 2012

articleimage

The chief executive and chief operating officer of Barclays resigned on the heels of its chairman, in the wake of a LIBOR-rigging scandal that has rocked the financial industry.

Bob
Diamond resigned as chief executive of Barclays, the UK-listed bank
announced yesterday, in the wake of a LIBOR-rigging scandal that has rocked
the financial industry.

“Barclays today announces the resignation of Bob Diamond as chief
executive and a director of Barclays with immediate effect,” the bank
said in a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange.

His resignation was quickly followed by that of Jerry del Missier, the bank's chief operating officer, who only started in his new job last month, which was announced hours later. Both Diamond and Del Missier previously worked in Barclays' investment banking arm.

Marcus Agius, who this week also announced his intention to resign as
chairman, will lead the search for a new CEO, the statement said. The bank will examine both internal and external candidates for the role of CEO.

The trio of resignations come as concerns are raised over whether the Bank of England pushed Barclays to publish artificially low interbank lending rates during the crux of the financial crisis. The scandal may lead to criminal prosecutions.

Shares in Barclays were up 1.43 per cent today at 171.3 pence.

Diamond, who joined Barclays 16 years ago, said in a statement: “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. I look forward to fulfilling my obligation to
contribute to the Treasury Committee's enquiries related to the
settlements that Barclays announced last week without my leadership in
question,” he said.

Diamond was referring to the UK House of Commons Treasury Select
Committee panel of lawmakers, which is due to question him about
revelations that Barclays manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate –
and its Euro version. The Financial Services Authority, the UK
regulator, along with US authorities, have slapped penalties totaling
£290 million (around $454.9 million) on the bank. It is understood that
other financial institutions, including large UK banks such as Royal
Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, are being investigated.

The resignation is arguably the most high-profile departure of a CEO
since Oswald Grubel stepped down from UBS last autumn in the wake of
revelations that the Swiss firm had suffered $2.3 billion in losses from
unauthorized trades.

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes