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Diamond clams up over whether regulators pushed him out

Bob Diamond TSC

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has refused to say whether pressure from the Bank of England or the FSA forced him to step down.

Diamond resigned as chief executive yesterday in the wake of the Libor and interest rate swap misselling scandals. Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, who will face the committee next week, resigned on Monday but now will stay on at the troubled bank to find a successor to Diamond.

It was reported earlier this week, that Diamond had taken the decision to step down partly as a result pressure from the Bank of England, the FSA and possibly the Treasury.

Asked by TSC chair Andrew Tyrie whether Barclays chairman Marcus Agius had any conversations with senior regulators about Diamond’s position, Diamond said it was a question for Agius, who faces the committee next week.

Diamond said that on Monday he had decided that the “support” of the regulators had diminished, but refused to say whether there had been contact between those regulators and the bank.

Diamond said: “If Marcus had a conversation with regulators that is for him to discuss with you.

“The focus on intensity on my leadership [was such] it was better for me to step down.”

Last week, Barclays was fined £290m by the FSA and US authorities for rigging the Libor and Euribor rates. The £59.5m fine from the FSA was the largest in its history. Barclays was also fined £128m by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and £102.6m by the US Department of Justice, bringing the total fine levied against Barclays to £290.1m

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