Barclays bloodbath continues as another boss steps down

THE bloodbath on the Barclays board continued today as its chief operating officer Jerry del Missier followed chief executive Bob Diamond out of the door.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 3rd July 2012, 9:07 am

Mr Diamond and Mr del Missier, who both worked together at the bank’s investment arm Barclays Capital between 2005 and 2008, have been forced out in the wake of the rate-rigging scandal.

Mr del Missier, who was only promoted to his current role last month, but has been with the bank for 15 years, said he had every confidence that the board will be “successful in executing their plans”.

His resignation came shortly after Mr Diamond quit amid increasing pressure from politicians, shareholders, financial campaigners and former directors.

Barclays has been at the centre of a gathering storm over banking ethics after it was last week fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for attempting to fix the key interbank lending rate.

This morning Mr Diamond, who has faced mounting calls to step down, said: “The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise.”

He added: “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.”

The move comes after Barclays was fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for manipulating the Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other.

Chairman Marcus Agius, who announced his intention to resign over the affair yesterday, will lead the search for a new chief executive immediately, Barclays said.

Mr Diamond, who was once dubbed the “unacceptable face of banking” by Lord Mandelson, showed no sign of stepping down yesterday as he pledged to see an internal review into Barclays’ practices through to implementation.

The 60-year-old, who joined the bank 16 years ago, said: “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.”

He went on: “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.”

Mr Diamond confirmed he would still appear before the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow to answer questions over the rate-fixing allegations which ultimately led to the Government yesterday launching a parliamentary probe into banking culture.

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.”