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Bob Diamond ‘dismayed’ by MPs’ ‘unfair’ comments

The former Barclays boss has criticised MPs on the Treasury Select Committee for doubting his testimony to them last week.

 
Bob Diamond ‘dismayed’ by MPs’ ‘unfair’ comments

Barclays’ former chief executive Bob Diamond has said he was ‘dismayed’ to hear MPs suggest yesterday that he was less than candid when giving evidence on the bank rate-rigging scandal last week.

‘Any suggestion would be totally unfair and unfounded,’ he said, adding that the comments made by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee when questioning Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius ‘have had a terribly unfair impact on my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me’.

Chairman of the committee, Andrew Tyrie, said that MPs ‘did not feel we had much clarity or openness from Mr Diamond’ during his testimony on the Libor fixing scandal which saw Barclays fined a record £290 million two weeks ago – although he thanked Agius for his own ‘direct and frank’ answers.

Conservative MP David Ruffley, meanwhile, quizzed Agius on whether Diamond had lied to the committee after pointing out stark contradictions between his and Agius’ answers to questions on the concerns held by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) about the bank’s behaviour, the ‘tone from the top’ and indeed the appointment of Diamond as chief executive in the first place.

Agius said he would not 'answer to Diamond's testimony' but assured MPs that he did inform Diamond of these concerns and would have given him a copy of the letters. Diamond, however, denied knowing anything about them.

In his letter to the chairman yesterday, meanwhile, Diamond also said that the focus of the committee’s concern relates to correspondence between the chairman of the FSA, Lord Turner, and Agius in April 2012 about a meeting he did not attend.

Yet these letters also specifically refer to the same concerns being made by Andrew Bailey of the FSA at the Barclays board meeting in February which Diamond did attend.

Tyrie has not commented on the letter nor confirmed if Diamond will be called to answer further questions from the committee.

It was announced today, however, that Barcays' former chief operating officer Jerry del Missier – who resigned last week following revelations that he was the one who passed down the instruction to staff to submit falsely low rates to the Libor committee – will appear before the committee at 4pm on Monday. Lord Turner, Andrew Bailey and Tracey McDermott of the FSA will then follow at 4.45pm.

Treasury officials names by deputy Bank of England governor Paul Tucker in his testimony last week, Bank of England governor Mervyn King and other Barclays' non-executives have yet to be called.  

37 comments so far. Why not have your say?

alan thorburn

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:11

So was I ! They could have said he was a lying ba****d !

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AA

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:19

It is the philosophy that preached "we have to pay these "extortionate" salaries and bonuses to keep the best talent in London" that has lead to this fiasco.

All these corrupt ba****ds should have ben allowed to go as far away from the UK as possible. No *anker should be allowed to earn more than ten, being generous twenty times his lowest paid employee. If that is not enough they can go wherever they please.

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Roo

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:26

This business about select committees is very good theater.

Diamond should be in jail waiting to be tried for being responsible for corporate fraud. He should be happy that he is getting a light grilling rather than a prison sentence!

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Nicholas Kendal

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:27

Diamonds are not forever, it seems.

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alan thorburn

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:29

Well said AA and Roo .

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:37

What affect has this fraud had on average Joe?

I understand that the law has been broken and corporate fraud has been committed, but how does this actually affect the bank account holders? Does he really need to be crucified?

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graham tremble

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:58

'Crucified'..Anonymous1

People who have been 'crucified' do not normally receive 2 million pounds from a grateful company do they? Or perhaps I am missing something?

Regards,

Graham.

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Roo

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:09

Graham, Yes absolutely they should be "crucified" more than equally to everyone else. Everyone who was involved with this should be charged and convicted of corporate fraud if they were responsible or fraud if they were a minion involved directly committing the acts.

People who have high positions in society should not escape justice they should have severe justice because they are not ignorant of what they did and even so did it knowingly. If I had stolen a single penny from Barclays they would look to "crucify" me, so why is the law different for them?

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Roo

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:10

People like us get court hearing and he gets theater in a select committee hearing that will not do anything. It's called a show trial in banana republics.

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Rob Walker

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:12

I watched Diamond's entire meeting with the Treasury select committee. I don't think he was allowed to finish more than a couple of answers. He tried to provide context to the various relevant situations and was accused of dodging the question. It was clear that the committee were there not to gain an understanding but just to berate their Public Enemy. There are others no better, maybe worse tied up with the LIBOR scandal, but that does not matter now. Bob Diamond was put there first - to draw the fire and angst of the political masters - so that others, closer to government control, can leave the headmaster's study with no more than a slapped wrist. I'm not defending Barclays, but the way this whole episode has been skewed against them beggars belief. There seems to be no-one in politics any more who is brave enough to stand up to these bear-baiters and complain that this whole process was rigged, because to defend these unpopular bankers would lose too many votes. Pathetic!

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:30

If he lied about Libor rates to make Barclays look in a better position that they were, this is fraud, however... what affect did this have on share price, jobs and consumer attitude? - all positive?

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Hotrod

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:37

@anonymous 1

It doesn't affect the bank account holders directly, but it does affect the standings of other bank employees. Fourteen of which have already been sacked for conduct that Diamond descibed as totally reprehensible.

Employees of Barclays Capital were systematically lining their own pockets for years. Mr D was in charge of that department before he was promoted. How can he say that he had no idea of what was going on? It would appear to the casual onlooker that he was the conductor of the orchestra which kicked up this racket.

Incidentally does anyone know whether BD is related to "Legs" Diamond.

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Tom Bayley

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:47

Not all positive no. Many securities are priced off Libor. The manipulations (which were in both directions) would have a huge effect in £ terms on what Barclays received, or had to pay. The net effect would depend on Barclays net exposure at the time, I guess, but at any rate it's hardly what you expect from the guardians of the nation's wealth, or however you want to put it.

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Drake

Jul 11, 2012 at 15:48

"Bob's dismay" - I'll treasure that along with "Fred's distress".

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Philmo

Jul 11, 2012 at 15:58

Disappointed with BD tactics - claiming emotional fragility is usually reserved for use by the "weaker" gender!

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Mike_B

Jul 11, 2012 at 16:05

Whilst some lost due to a lower LIBOR rate, there would have been others who gained!

The losers will all be lining up to claim, but I don't think those who gained will be offering to repay!

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Stephen Griffiths

Jul 11, 2012 at 17:52

Anonymous 1. There are very good reasons for honest benchmarks. Trust is an essential part of banking and always has been. Whilst in the short-term the LIBOR manipulation may benefit some, ultimately once trust has gone out the window everybody loses.

You could argue that in the short term the Greek people gained from their government's willingness to lie about their liabilities in order to gain acceptance into the European Union. Generous pensions all round...plenty of government funding for everything. Now no-one will lend them the price of a pint of beer without knowing that they are backed by more honest and reliable German taxpayers money.

And regardless, I don't particularly want to live in a country that makes most of its money by lying.

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John via mobile

Jul 11, 2012 at 18:21

So, Diamond's dismayed about his reputation being harmed. I wonder how it compares to the dismay of the staff whose jobs have been lost on his orders, and the jobs that are going to be lost so that the bank can pay the fine. Meanwhile, well any of their top boys take a drop in their obscene salaries (not inc bonuses). Don't make me laugh. Bring back the guillotine.

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Bob / Canada

Jul 11, 2012 at 18:40

perhaps if Diamond was telling the truth instead of ' obfuscating' with a few coached phrases provided by his lawyer ,,,,, what does he expect ?

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Anthony Tinslay

Jul 11, 2012 at 19:15

Agree entirely with Rob Walker. Bob Diamond had no chance with a group of posturing, self important MP's only eager to join in the current Banker bashing season. More will come out of course with other Banks but unlikely to make such headlines. The basic fact of Libor rate fixing was of course very wrong and those directly inviolved in Barclays and some elsewhere have been sacked.. Diamond was in charge and has accepted responsibility but seems not to have been directly culpable. He has paid the price and no doubt will return to the USA.

It is rather silly to use such words as guillotine and crucified - at the moment no actual 'crime' has been uncovered and it is difficult to see how individual customers may have suffered on such a technical issue. In due course other related FACTS may emetge and then and only then can any sound judgment be made. It will be interesting to see and hear the FSA being interviewed as it seems they were advised BY Barclays of the Libor problem with other banks on many occasions and chose to do nothing.

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Franco

Jul 11, 2012 at 19:28

Stephen Giffiths, Anonymous 1 never mentioned or hinted at Greece. Your hatred is showing. Are you a Turk under your beard?

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mo khan

Jul 11, 2012 at 19:38

Melly mouthed MP's If they weren't in the pockets of these, bankers their employees. Why haven't punished him lying and sentenced to Jail?

What are they scared of, Their own shadow !

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Drake

Jul 11, 2012 at 20:09

The MP's are of course not just disorganised and politically self-seeking, but time and again they are advised by good lawyers that these displays of open prejudice can make a subsequent trial difficult. The case should simply go to court, and as I have said before, if the Brits can't do it then the FBI will, and good luck to Diamond Bob in an American jail.

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mo khan

Jul 11, 2012 at 20:52

MP's are lobbied by these very Con Merchants paid in kind to prevent or block any hint of a law being created into existence.. hence when such heinous acts of grubby robberies or planned like these, take place and exposed, or is this

(what they call innovative thinking and performance. The artful dodgers, Bankers)

Why of course no law is broken since, none exist hence no offense being an MP make Sure none will exist. Day light robbery of good honest hard working citizen, being ripped off

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William P Colquhoun

Jul 11, 2012 at 22:46

It is easy to point the finger towards others. But perhaps all should be aware of the "3 fingers pointing back at me." Anyone can be a catalyst for integrity. With the spotlight currently on bankers, now is their chance, as individuals, to put right past wrongs, be motivated by doing a good job rather than by bonuses, which are potentially corrupting in any industry, and be committed to integrity. This would be a huge benefit for Britain and the financial community as a whole, This is needed all over the world, and this would also honour the many bankers who do behave with integrity. I also have direct experience of bankers being very generous in the field of charity, which is where I come from. The dividing line between good and evil runs not between bankers and others, but as Solzhenitsyn wrote, it runs through every human heart.

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mo khan

Jul 11, 2012 at 23:12

@William P Colquhoun--

Are you a banker giving to charity or receiving?

Thank you in advance for clarification.

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William P Colquhoun

Jul 12, 2012 at 06:22

No, I am not a banker, but like most people use banks and do not want them to crash! I have worked unsalaried for charity ever since university. So I speak from a very low income background having lived below the tax threshold for most of my life. A generous patron was in the financial services industry and when he died we received over £6,000 in his memory from his friends. Bankers as a group are not much different from any other group. We all have the same human nature, and potential for greed, corruption selfishness & dishonesty. But all individuals whatever their past & background, can change for the better and make a difference in this world. So with the spotlight on this issue, it is a chance for bankers & the City of London to have a huge positive impact. It does not help to vilify people or group of people.

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Chris Powell

Jul 12, 2012 at 08:48

Rob Walker

I also agree with the points you make.

Yes, Barclays has done wrong and so have 20 other banks, so will all these other leaders be forced to resign! Barclays actual spent £90 million to get the information to the FSA and have been the first to actually help the FSA. The other banks might now try and be less helpful.

I think that the main question is did the BOE, FSA and the then Government know about 'low balling'? If they did know then they should have stopped it or at the very least investigated a long-time before the US regulators. If they did not know then they are as thick as S***. Either way the financial regulation was completely and utterly pathetic and that is what we should concentrate on and then get it right!

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George Hill

Jul 12, 2012 at 10:53

Chris Powell. Spot on. As you say...

"... the financial regulation was completely and utterly pathetic and that is what we should concentrate on and then get it right!"

As long as we all remember that the FSA (spineless as it turned out to be) was better than nothing. Which is what the Tories wanted.

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mo khan

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:00

@Rob Walker:/Chris Powell

I also agree with both

Perhaps the committee were scared of really getting at the truth.

Bob Diamond could really spill the beans, think what he really knows and who else is implicated, it wasn't just one bank, this was global collision that went viral, then became banking culture.aided and abetted by politicians, and Journalism sleeping on duty

There is no such thing, as market forces, over used phrase, and now we know there is fixing in the banks and markets. it is fact confirmed, once known just has to be accommodate for it is not right not wrong it is, expedient competition.

Committee is just a show at Tax payers expense.

Politicians are of envious and jealous of the bonuses culture which they help to popup.

Legislation could be passed in less time than it took to show case, this mans trial, if they were at all serious.

Let Diamond be heard and lessons be learned.

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Chris Powell

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:19

George Hill

I disagree. No regulation would have been better because low regulation let the banks get away wide it. Before G Brown the banking code would have been inforced and the BOE could and might have stopped this. Remember GB's speech I don't just want a low level of regulation I want limited regulation (or something like that) - what a plonker.

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George Hill

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:34

Chris. No regulation better than "light" regulation? Come on!

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Chris Powell

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:51

Yes

Because, the bankers new they could get away with it. FSA came in with rules to abide by but not legal requirements. They were by far most pathetic organisation to ever have been setup.

They asked the banks to increase their tier 1 ration when 2 banks were bankrupt. Why not do this a year earlier when NR crashed and the banks would have had the abbility to raise funds it would have also stopped RBS buying a Dutch bank! They let NR sell 130% first time buyer mortgage- who the hell thinks this is OK and many more stupid things that the FSA did not act on.

The BOE should have always been in charge of the banks and accountable to them. FSA were out of their depth along with GB and the labour party.

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Stephen Griffiths

Jul 12, 2012 at 12:28

Franco

I apologise if my comments offended. I have the deepest sympathy for the plight of the Greek people at the moment and believe they have been stitched up by very very poor political leadership. Much as we have in Britain.

I was using Greece as an example of the importance of trust in economics. It's a form of game theory. Do you pursue a strategy of short term gain now through dishonesty or long term stability through integrity. The Greek government colluded with Goldman Sachs to hide their debts in order to gain entry to the European Union. They lied and they benefitted in the short term but now trust has been lost and the long term effect is catastrophic.

If British banks continue to lie about the interest rates at which other banks lend to them the same thing will happen to Britain.

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mo khan

Jul 12, 2012 at 12:44

Just some Questions.

1) How is the FSA funded? Staff, salaries, premises.. etc

2) Where does the money go to, when Barclay bank, pays up for these charges that FSA bought about, reported to be in the millions, highest ever for any bank? For instance does it go the victims, very difficult if not impossible,so where does this money go to?

3) Why isn't FSA Charging same, for other banks in collision with this practice?,

4) Who gives FSA authority, does is it have the powers to be judge and jury ?

Thank you for any answers to any of the above.

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Chris Powell

Jul 12, 2012 at 12:56

The new sytem is changing

The old system was

1, funded by finacial business sector

2, money goes to FSA but this qovernment is requesting the libor fines go to the tax payer

3, The FSA have only been able to fine Barclays because Barclays are the only ones to cooperate fully

4, No power other than to make fines and get people sacked.

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mo khan

Jul 12, 2012 at 14:01

@Chris Powell

Thank you, for the Info, very much appreciated.

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