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'Deeply disappointed' Diamond quits Barclays - as Agius returns

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'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.'

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