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King: Barclays was in denial over our concerns

Mervyn King Bank of England TSC

Bank of England governor Mervyn King says Barclays’ board was in denial over the concerns regulators had about the executive management at the bank.

Last week, Barclays chairman Marcus Agius told the Treasury select committee that a representative from the FSA had told him the bank’s corporate governance was “best in class”.

Giving evidence to the TSC this week, King said the FSA had made its concerns with the bank clear to him and that was the reason he called Agius and non-executive director Michael Rake to a meeting in Threadneedle street the day Agius resigned.

King said: “The board of Barclays had been in something of a state of denial about the concerns of the regulator and I wanted to make sure they understood those concerns had been shared with the Bank and they had to be taken seriously.”

The day after the meeting Bob Diamond resigned as Barclays chief executive.

King rejected claims from committee chair Andrew Tyrie that by telling Agius at the meeting that regulators had lost confidence in chief executive Bob Diamond he was “telling him to shoot his chief executive”.

King said: “It was their decision.”

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