Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has said he does not feel personally culpable over the Libor fixing scandal.
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
Diamond was head of Barclays’ investment arm Barclays Capital at the time the rigging went on and resigned as the bank’s chief executive yesterday. According to the FSA’s report there were over 250 requests to Barclays traders to manipulate the rate. Diamond said this is down to a small number of individuals in the bank, who behaved “abhorrently”.
Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee this afternoon, Diamond agreed the culture in a bank comes from the top but said he does not feel personally culpable.
He said: “I was responsible for Barclays Capital at the time and I was responsible for Barclays until yesterday but that is different to personal culpability. What I do feel is a very strong sense of responsibility that when we find mistakes we recognise them.”
Diamond once said the culture of an institution is demonstrated by what goes on when nobody is watching. TSC member and Labour MP Teresa Pearce asked Diamond if he still believed this.
“I still believe that but we have had some exceptions to that,” he said.
TSC member Andrea Leadsom accused Diamond of living in a “parallel universe” for thinking that there was not a widespread problem with the culture at Barclays.