Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius Resigns

02 Jul

The interest rate rigging scandal has claimed its first scalp among the senior  management of Barclays with the bank’s Chairman set to announce his resignation today.

Marcus Agius at a Barclays branch

The scandal has claimed its first scalp among the senior management of Barclays, as the bank confirmed on Sunday that Marcus Agius, its chairman, was set to resign


Marcus Agius is expected to say he is “truly sorry” for the scandal, which has   dealt a “devastating blow” to the bank. Meanwhile, Lord Turner of   Ecchinswell, the head of the Financial Services Authority, said “more heads   will roll” at badly behaving banks.
Yesterday it emerged that Barclays stepped up its efforts to rig interest   rates after Bob Diamond, its chief executive, personally spoke to the deputy   governor of the Bank of England. Bob Diamond had a conversation with Paul   Tucker about how much Barclays was claiming it had to pay to borrow money   during the financial crisis in 2008.
After Mr Diamond spoke to Mr Tucker, Barclays staff came to believe the Bank   of England wanted them to falsify this data — which was used to calculate   Libor, the interest rate that banks pay to each other.
The bank’s traders then escalated their secret attempts to manipulate the   markets and make it appear that the bank was paying less to borrow money   than was actually the case, documents show. Sources at both banks said this   was the result of a “misunderstanding” and insisted that Mr Tucker had not   sanctioned Barclays’ actions.
At the time, the Bank of England was keen to see a lower Libor rate, as that   would have been a positive sign in the depths of the credit crunch.
The disclosure increases the pressure on Mr Diamond, who has now been put at   the heart of discussions about the fixing of Libor. When he gives evidence to MPs this week the bank chief will also have to   explain why his employees were left with the understanding they had the Bank   of England’s blessing.
As the board of Barclays called an emergency meeting last night, there were   calls for a criminal inquiry into the bank by Vince Cable, the Business   Secretary, and Lord Blair of Boughton, the former Metropolitan Police   commissioner.
Mr Diamond is also facing calls to step down over his failure to spot the   scandal, which may have caused banks to charge mortgage holders, credit card   users and businesses too much for billions of pounds in loans.
Barclays was last week fined £290 million for its role in the affair. Other   high street banks are expected to face heavy penalties for similar   wrongdoing
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in International News


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