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Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond resigns

Follows chairman in Libor-fixing scandal fallout

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Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has stepped down from his role less than a week after the bank was fined a record amount for rigging interest rates.

His departure follows that of Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, who yesterday resigned from his position. Last week, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and US regulators fined the bank £290m for falsely manipulating its submissions of the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (Libor), the rate at which banks lend to each other. (To find out more about this, read our 60 second guide to Libor.)

Diamond quits to contain ‘risk’ to Barclays

In a stock market announcement, Diamond said: ‘No decision over that period was as hard as the one that I make now to stand down as chief executive. The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise – I cannot let that happen.

‘I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth.’

Outgoing chairman Marcus Agius has been tasked with finding a successor to Diamond in his remaining three months with Barclays.

Parliamentary inquiry into Libor-fixing scandal

With 20 other banking institutions, including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC, under investigation, the Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that there will be a parliamentary inquiry into the Libor-fixing scandal.

Update on 4 July 2012: Chancellor George Osborne was incorrect when he named HSBC as a bank under investigation for rate-rigging. The bank has, so far, not been accused of any wrong-doing. 

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: ‘We need full disclosure of rates-fixing, how widespread it was, who was involved, and importantly how consumers have been affected. However, we do not want the inquiry to hold up reform – there must be no excuses, no further delay in taking action to fix our broken banking system.

‘The public deserve an answer as to whether retail banking customers lost money because of the rates-rigging.’

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