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Diamond ‘got physically ill’ after reading traders’ rate-fixing emails

Bob Diamond TSC 480

Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond says he felt “physically ill” when he read emails from some of the bank’s traders who sought to influence the Libor and Euribor rates it submitted to the British Bankers’ Association.

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

The FSA’s final notice, published last week, shows between January 2005 and May 2009, the bank’s derivative traders made 173 attempts to influence US dollar Libor submissions, 58 attempts to influence Euribor submissions and 26 attempts to influence yen Libor submissions.

An estimated 14 traders were found to have emailed the bank’s rate submitters in an effort to influence the rates Barclay’s submitted, purely to improve their own trading position and profit levels.

At a Treasury select committee evidence session today, TSC member David Ruffley asked Diamond if these actions should lead to custodial sentences being given to bankers.

Diamond replied: “When I read the emails from those traders, I got physically ill. If you are asking me those actions should be dealt with then absolutely. Immediately, when it became clear during the investigation that there was specific actions to be dealt with at the time, we did not wait until the end of the investigation.

“There were times when it was helpful to the investigation for people to be placed on suspension as opposed to terminated. But I want to assure you David, that behaviour was reprehensible, it was wrong. I am sorry, I am disappointed and I am also angry. There is absolutely no excuse for the behaviour that was exhibited in those activities and the types of emails that were written.”

He added that the emails broke the bank’s “no jerk rule” which means that “if people do not behave they have to leave”.

Both Diamond and chief finance officer Jerry del Missier resigned from the bank in the wake of US and UK regulators slapping a fine totalling £290m onto Barclays’ in the wake of the rate-fixing.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius resigned last week but has decided to stay at the bank until a new chief executive is appointed.

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Comments

There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. David Parkinson 4th July 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Funny enough that’s how I felt when I read about Mr Dimonds earnings over the last few years!
    He oversaw corruption & should be held to account.

  2. “TSC member David Ruffley asked Diamond if these actions should lead to custodial sentences being given to bankers.

    Diamond replied: “When I read the emails from those traders, I got physically ill. If you are asking me those actions should be dealt with then absolutely.”

    I agree. Absolutely, and without fear, favour or regard.

    And I would start at the top, with the people ultimately responsible for this scandal, this CRIME.

    That’s you, Bob.

    Hiding behind denials of knowledge, denials of telephone conversation implications, denials of culpability, ain’t going to cut the mustard.

    You have been caught bang to rights, fingers in the till, red-handed, and denial is futile.

    Still, a suspended custodial sentence, a few hours of community service followed by a cushy job at the FCA, PRA or MAS shouldn’t be too hard to bear.

    Roll on retirement! (5 days)

  3. Roll on Rogers Retirement (5 days) so I dont need to hear about it anymore… LOL Enjoy Roger 🙂

    What did you expect Bob to say? I PMSL when I saw the emails?

    He has been caught redhanded and it should be now that he feels phsyically sick with the consequences still to be decided. I hope he and his crooked cronies get jail time, the same amount that a Joe Bloggs would get for a crime of comparable severity.

    I dont care who these people are, the law applies to us all. The basics of common law have been broken here regardless of how you tart it up – Fundementally these people have stolen and willfully acted to the detriment of others for their own gain.

    I for one will not be happy until these rapscallions [sic] are punished accordingly, however extreme the handout is as long as it fits the crime.

  4. Duncan Carter 4th July 2012 at 9:59 pm

    The truth of this will never come out, there is simply too much collusion in the inner circle and that’s why the government is fighting hard for no judicial enquiry.

    Even then what actually would be the point? It would take years, cost a fortune, lawyers get fat and by the time the inconclusive conclusions are delivered everyone will have lost interest.

    Cynical – it certainly is but I feel pretty much the same way!

  5. You wait until he reads the emails his wife sent me, that will make him feel sick.

  6. Year on year profiting with dishonest methods. They need to return what they have taken away!

  7. Alan Kendrick 5th July 2012 at 8:35 am

    Lots of issues coming out of this, not least of which is that this is not a forum to deal with this type of matter. The MPs did not actually get to the bottom of amything and Bob, whilst nervous, did not really admit to anything or contradict himself in any way. The correct forum is one which aims to find out what really happened rtaher than a place publicity opportunity for MPs.

    It was rather sickening to hear Bob repeatedly say he loved Barclays. I would rather have heard him say that he loved and respected Barclays shareholders and customers. He only seems to have held them in contempt, with the way customers have been continually ripped off, and staff receiving more in bonuses than shareholders did in dividends. In the meantime, the value of Barclays shares have gone down whilst bonuses have gone up, especially Bobs.

    With the multitude of issues that Barclays have been fined for in recent years, it is impossible to believe that a CEO with a reputation such as his, did not know about some of them, if not all of them. These matters have all served to preserve Barclays profits and therefore further boost the already excessive bonuses taken by Bob and his cronies.

    Could this be why Bob, during the credit crunch, sought finance from the Middle East rather than take the government package. The government package would have meant perhaps even further scrutiny and these matters may well haev come to light sooner.

    These regulatory problems coming to light now clearly indicate that Bob at best did not put in proper controls and therefore is incompetent, or at worst he was complicit and therefore culpable.

    Regarding Marcus Agius, it is incomprehensible that he resigned and then he did not not resign. His resignation meant that he either felt he was guilty, or he was part of the failed cover up for Bob.

    They were both part of the ruling regime for Barclays, many of these problems happened on their watch. How can he be trusted to seek a replacement for Bob?

    The ethos of an organisation comes from strong leadership at the very top keeping, Marcus in place no matter how temporary is incredible. Surely all Board members should be scrutinuised to see if any of them merit being retained.

    Directors are responsible for signing off the accounts of their companies, doing this recklessly or knowing that they mis-state the position of the company is a criminal offence. The accounts for past years should be restated to show the true position, any excess bonuses resulting from this restatement should be reclaimed. If this is not done, the true effects of the costs will fall on future staff, and future profits will be affected. As Bob and Marcus have resigned the will not have any future bonuese to be affected.

    If we want to clean up the Banking Sector we need to start with high profile sanctions to encourage the rest. This applies to all Banks, not just Barclays. If we want to remain a strong financial sector what we need is not more regulation but proper implementation of current legislation. There should not be a cosy relationship where Bob can call all members of the MPs scrutiny committee by the their first names. This is too indicative of a cosy relationship rtaher than strong impersonal oversight.

  8. Diamond gave the enquiry the run around yesterday. It made me sick just listening to it.
    Being questioned by politicians is not good enough, they do not have the necessary background or understanding of the intricacies of the banking world, therefore they cannot grill this crook to the level that is required.
    We need a judicial enquiry in this case and the fallout from it will lasso more of the bankers (I am being polite) this could be just the tip of the iceberg if the enquiry is allowed to be handled correctly and not glossed over. Let’s hope so.

  9. Fixing the Libor rate was fraud. Mr Diamond told the TSC he knew nothing about Barclays fixing the Libor rate until he read the FSA report. He also told the TSC he knew banks were manipulating the rate in 2008. He was repeatedly asked how he could know about one without knowing about the other. His repeated answer was that the behaviour of Barclays traders was “reprehensible”. From this it would appear that the SFO will want to interview Mr Diamond in the near future. They will have more persuasive methods than the TSC to get him to answer the question. It also appears that the rate fixing crime has been committed in America as well. Comparing the records of the two authorities in getting convictions for fraud in the financial services industry, America is way ahead. Mr Diamond, for all his bonuses and his love of Barclays, faces an uncertain future.

  10. I don’t think we’ll see an outcry if the Americans ask for repatriation of one of theri citizens to stand trial unlike the use of terrorist legislation to extradite UK nationals who are not accussed of terrorism.
    Who has had the biggest effect on the UK economy, the UK arms dealer extradited to the USA for supplying arms within the EU or Bob Diamond’s employees activities?

  11. Hold On! I would feel sick if I was found out too!
    FSA fines Barclays £49M
    Barclays gives golden goodbye (“sorry you were found out old chap” approx £30m
    That 60% of the fine?????????
    Looks like the fine was a joke! What do you think?

  12. I strongly suspect that nothing will happen to these dodgy Bankers, because, a couple of years ago, Directors of a business that about fifty people worked for (including myself), acted illegally and went on to exploit the workers, by using holes in Employment law to withhold staff wages and ultimately cheat employees out of the money that they had worked hard to earn ( http://bobblackmanmp.info/ ).

    Despite Employment Tribunals agreeing that staff were treated badly, the High Court said that they are powerless to help because their is noting stopping this in law.

    Now, to rub salt in the wound, Government officials and the local MP simply try to kick the issue into the long grass, by claiming that it’s not in the public interest to do anything about this matter, whilst refusing to have the Directors struck off, failing to introduce new laws to outlaw these kinds of sharp practices, and not even bothering to call for an inquiry into this scandal.

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