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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.
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.
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by Robert St George on Dec 10, 2013 at 17:50