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Bob Diamond gives up £20m bonus
(Update) Bob Diamond, Barclays’ former chief executive, has bowed to pressure and agreed to waive bonuses of up to £20 million.
When asked, therefore, if Diamond had lied to the Committee Agius refused to comment.
Agius was also questioned by MPs over the FSA's annual review of the bank, quoting a letter sent from FSA chief Lord Turner earlier this year in which he raised concerns that 'Barclays has a tendency continually to seek advantage from complex structures or favourable regulatory interpretations'. He gave several examples of instances where Barclays was 'aggressive', 'not fully transparent' and sought to 'spin messages in an unhelpful fashion'.
There was a moment of humour when Agius claimed someone from the Financial Services Authority had told him on the way to a meeting that ‘you’re best in class’. Chairman Andrew Tyrie quipped, 'well I dread to think of the reports we’ll see on other banks!'
Tyrie added that Diamond had shown a 'complete lack of candor' in his meeting with MPs and thanked Agius for his own 'direct and frank' answers.
When asked how he felt that a great British bank had been dragged through the mud, Agius said: 'I regret deeply what has happened at Barclays and I am truly sorry'. He added that Barclays could not have done more to co-operate with the authorities' investigations and that it was now suffering now from a 'first mover disadvantage'.
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