Barclays’ Diamond left “dismayed” after UK MPs question his honesty

Barclays’ former chief executive Bob Diamond has said he is “dismayed” UK Members of Parliament have questioned the truthfulness of answers he provided to the Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee.

Diamond (pictured), who resigned from Barclays last week after pressure from Bank of England governor Mervyn King, and in the wake of the Libor scandal, said comments from MPs during Barclays’ executive chairman Marcus Agius’ session yesterday were “unfair and unfounded”.

MPs listening to Agius suggested there were discrepancies between what the two men had told them.

Agius was asked if he had passed on the UK Financial Services Authority’s “issues” with Diamond when he was appointed as chief executive in 2010. Agius said that he had.

However when Diamond appeared before the committee last week, he said he had not.

Responding to the TSC in a letter sent after the hearing had concluded, Diamond told committee chair Andrew Tyrie, Diamond said himself and Agius had been talking about different time periods.

In the letter, published by the BBC, he told Tyrie: “Having watched the committee’s session today, I was dismayed that you and some of your fellow committee members appear to have suggested that I was less than candid with the committee last week.

“Any such suggestion would be totally unfair and unfounded.”

He explained the reason for any potential discrepancy was because Diamond was asked about the period when he was promoted in September 2010 and the board meeting he attended in February 2012.

He said in contrast, Agius had been talking about letters sent in April 2012, following a meeting that month between FSA chairman Adair Turner and Agius. Diamond maintains he knew nothing about the letters or the meeting, in which the FSA flagged up concerns it had with Barclays.

Diamond added: “The comments made at today’s hearing have had a terribly unfair impact on my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me.”

Yesterday it also emerged Diamond would receive a payoff of £2m from Barclays after resigning from the bank.

Diamond resigned despite enjoying shareholders’ support in the wake of the fine slapped on Barclays by UK and US regulators for manipulating Libor.

He was urged to step down by Agius following a conversation between the then Barclays’ chairman (now executive chairman) and Mervyn King, who told Agius that Diamond had lost the confidence of the regulator.

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

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