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'Deeply disappointed' Diamond quits Barclays - as Agius returns

by Sarah Miloudi on Jul 03, 2012 at 07:36

'Deeply disappointed' Diamond quits Barclays - as Agius returns

Barclays has announced the resignation of Bob Diamond as chief executive and director, with the move taking immediate effect.

Marcus Agius will become full-time chairman and lead the search for a new chief executive, the bank announced. Agius will chair the Barclays executive committee pending the appointment of a new chief and will be supported in discharging these responsibilities by Sir Michael Rake, Barclays' deputy chairman.

The search for a new chief executive will begin immediately and consider both internal and external candidates. The businesses will continue to be managed by the existing leadership teams, Barclays said, as it announced the dramatic change to its investors.

Stepping back from Barclays, Diamond told shareholders that he felt 'deeply disappointed' with the turn of events in recent weeks - a stretch which has seen the bank come under intense critisism following its record £290 million fine for Libor manipulation.

Diamond said: 'I joined Barclays 16 years ago because I saw an opportunity to build a world class investment banking business. Since then, I have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented, client-focused and diligent people that I have ever come across.

'We built world class businesses together and added our own distinctive chapter to the long and proud history of Barclays. 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 added: 'I leave behind an extraordinarily talented management team that I know is well placed to help the business emerge from this difficult period as one of the leaders in the global banking industry.'

Agius, who announced his own resignation on Monday, will take over temporarily from Diamond.  Speaking to investors, Agius skipped over the shock twist in management arrangements at the bank and spoke only to recognise Diamond for his services and say that he is looking forward to working with its business chief executives.

Agius said: 'Bob Diamond has made an enormous contribution to Barclays over the last 16 years of distinguished service to the group, building Barclays investment bank into one of the leading global investment banks in the world. As chief executive he has led the bank superbly.

'I look forward to working closely with the chief executives of our businesses and the other members of the executive committee in leading Barclays world class businesses in serving our customers and clients and delivering value for our shareholders.'

4 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Ian Angus-Felton

Jul 03, 2012 at 08:47

"My motivation has always been to do what I believed to be in the best interests of Barclays." Now that is an interesting statement....."in the best interests of Barclays". Perhaps that's where the banks are going wrong....shouldn't their motivation be working for the best interests of their customers?

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Jul 03, 2012 at 09:28

We may as well not have any Banking Supervision in this seems to be failing drastically...

Someone should also be held accountable at the BoE and the FSA.

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Your Money Matters (YMM)

Jul 03, 2012 at 09:56

It is now apparent that Barclays completely mis-judged the feeling of outrage felt in the market by its actions in recent years. A Judicial enquiry is required to uncover the degree of fraudulent/criminal activity.

It is appreciated that Mr Alexander (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) could not confirm the degree of investigation on the BBC this morning. However, should he not consider himself fortunate that Jeremy Paxman was on the night shift.

Barclays were closely involved with 'Project Merlin,' to re-establish public credibility/confidence may require the Government to take stronger action than the proposed review. Afterall, the ink is barely dry on the MP's expenses scandal; here perhaps is opportunity for our Politicians to raise the wider public perceptions of their actions/activities.

The stage is set, I think the British public have already bought their tickets...

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G Brown

Jul 03, 2012 at 22:38

There was a financial crisis which at that time was in its infancy.

There had been a run on N Rock and Barclays had been reported to tap the BoE special liquidity window twice which indicated a lack of appetite for other institutions to lend. The initially, probably factual, LIBOR rates provided to the BBA by Barclays were perhaps nearer reality. Given it's financial strength compared to RBS and HBoS it seems strange that they were submitting much lower rates to the BBA.

As the submissions are technically an admission of credit quality would it be wrong to assume that the BoE were concerned about a run on Barclays and may encourage them to be closer the pack? One bank can't effect the rate after all.

RBS, LBG and the other submitters will be in the firing line before long.

As for the traders trying to manipulate the rate that was undoubtedly greed.

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