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Barclays names del Missier as most senior rate-rigger
Most senior employee to order Libor manipulation named; government and Bank of England implicated in explosive Barclays document.
Jerry del Missier, Barclays’s chief operating officer who this afternoon resigned, was the most senior member of staff to make orders to rig the inter-bank lending rate, the bank has conceded.
‘Jerry was most senior officer who gave instructions to lower the Libor rate,’ said chairman Marcus Agius in a conference call with journalists, speaking after chief executive Bob Diamond and his right hand man del Missier (pictured) resigned.
Barclays, which was last week fined £290 million for fixing Libor and Euribor rates, has also published its submission for a Treasury Select Committee hearing into the rate-fixing tomorrow. This includes explosive revelations about the Bank of England. A note written by Diamond details a phone call he received from Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank.
Tucker told Diamond how he ‘had received calls from a number of senior figures within Whitehall to question why Barclays was always towards the top end of the Libor pricing’.‘Mr Tucker stated the level of calls he was receiving from Whitehall were ‘senior’ and that while he was certain we did not need advice, that it did not always need to be the case that we appeared as high as we have recently,’ Diamond's note says.
Note from Bob Diamond: Click to enlarge
Diamond relayed the contents of the conversation to del Missier, but ‘did not believe he received an instruction from Paul Tucker or that he gave an instruction to Jerry del Missier’, the submission to the Treasury committee said.
‘However Jerry del Missier concluded that an instruction had been passed down from the Bank of England not to keep Libors so high and he therefore passed down a direction to that effect to the submitters.'
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigated del Missier personally, the submission says, but decided not to act.
Agius, who will become a full-time chairman and lead the search for Diamond's successor, dodged many journalists’ questions on the conference call, preferring to leave them for the Treasury Select Committee hearing tomorrow.
He did, however, hint at the scale of problems facing other banks, which are also being investigated over rate-fixing.
‘Clearly it appears to be the case that other banks are in a similar position’, Agius said upon being asked if Barclays management felt as though they had been victimised. ‘And they will follow us because we went first. And having come first we clearly have caught a lot of attention.’He also said that there had not been time to discuss whether Diamond would receive a severance package.
‘We’ll be looking into the problem of his severance but we haven’t got round to it’, Agius said.
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