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Del Missier: Tucker nudged Barclays to lowball Libor
by Sarah Miloudi on Jul 16, 2012 at 16:48
Jerry del Missier has dismissed that submitting lower Libor rates was a 'significant' event, and said he believed he was acting on the Bank of England's instructions.
The former chief operating officer of Barclays told MPs in the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) that 'lowballing' the Libor rate did not seem significant given the sheer number of unprecedented events going on at the time.
These included the collapse of a number of financial institutions 'such as' Lehman Brothers and the bailing out of the likes of Lloyds.
'It did not seem a significant event given the number of significant events at that time,' del Missier (pictured) told the TSC. 'Within a week there was a co-ordinated, massive reduction in interest rates which frankly, rendered the whole issue obsolete,' he added.
Del Missier said that following a conversation with Bob Diamond - in which he was told the Bank of England was putting it under pressure because of its high Libor rate - he subsequently communicated with his money market desk and expected it to submit a Libor rate which 'reflected these views'.
Del Missier later told the committee that he disagreed lowering Libor was illegal, but added he believed he was not acting purely on internal Barclays instructions.
He was asked if he would have taken the same steps if the order to reduce Libor had come solely from Barclays, to which he replied 'no'.
Del Missier was asked: 'Did you believe the [instruction] came from outside?'
He said 'yes' in response. Del Missier was repeatedly asked if he checked who exactly had given the order, as well as the order itself. He said he did not, but believed it had come from Paul Tucker, the deputy Bank of England governor.
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