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Del Messier: I told traders to lower Libor submissions

Del Messier Barclays Libor

Former Barclays chief operating officer Jerry del Missier says he considered chief executive Bob Diamond’s comments about the bank’s Libor submissions an instruction to lower them and passed it on to traders.

This month, Barclays released a memo that Diamond sent to then Barclays chief executive John Varley and del Missier in October 2008. It said Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker told Diamond that a number of “senior Whitehall officials” had expressed concerns over the Libor numbers being reported by Barclays. In the memo, Diamond said Tucker had told him the bank’s submissions “did not always need to be as high as we have seen recently”.

Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee this week, del Missier, who resigned earlier this month in the wake of the Libor and Euribor rate rigging scandal, said he spoke to Diamond the day before receiving the memo about the issue.

Del Missier said Diamond told him “we should get our Libor rates down and we should not be outliers”.

He said: “I passed the instruction as I had received it to the head of the money markets desk. I fully expected the Bank of England’s views would be incorporated in the Libor submissions.”

This appears to contradict Diamond’s evidence to MPs, in which he did not mention any conversations about the issue prior to the memo and insisted the memo was not an instruction.

Del Missier told MPs he is unaware of any other market manipulation at Barclays or false Libor submissions before the memo was sent.

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