Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has hit back at the Treasury select committee over its report on the Libor rate-rigging scandal, which claimed his evidence to the committee was “lacking in candour”.
In its report, Fixing Libor: Some Preliminary Findings, the TSC gave a damning verdict on Diamond, saying his evidence fell well short of the standard parliament expects.
In June, Barclays was fined £290m by US and UK regulators for manipulating Libor.
Diamond, who quit the bank in July following public pressure to step down, says: “I answered every question that was put to me truthfully, candidly and based on information available to me. I categorically refute any suggestion to the contrary.”
Former Barclays deputy chairman Sir Nigel Rudd has slammed MPs for the “completely unacceptable” attack on Diamond.
Rudd told The Sunday Times: “It is one thing to attack a man’s judgement or his decisions, it is quite another to attack his integrity. I do not believe there is any evidence that he misled Parliament.”
But TSC member and Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom says she is “astonished that anyone who listened to the evidence session would think Diamond was completely open”.
In its report, the committee claims the culture at Barclays was “deeply wrong” and went well beyond Libor.
It says there was a defective system of controls at the bank that incentivised traders to benefit their own book even to the detriment of the bank and shareholders. The TSC claims Barlcays’ weak compliance reflected a poor culture that did not take regulatory rules seriously enough.
But Diamond says: “The picture being presented of what Barclays stood for under my watch could not be further from the truth.”
The TSC’s report also criticises former Barclays chief operating officer Jerry del Missier for not querying what he took as an order from Diamond to lower Libor rates.
Clayden Associates director Daniel Clayden says: “We have seen a big move to transparency for financial advisers, which is something we should be seeing in the banking industry.”