Barclays chief at odds with Diamond on Libor evidence
BARCLAYS' ex-chief operating officer, Jerry del Missier, contradicted Robert Diamond, saying his former boss told him to submit artificially low Libor rates, and blamed compliance managers for failing to act.
Del Missier (50) told the UK Parliament's Treasury Committee yesterday that he received an instruction from Diamond, then chief executive officer, that he took to have come from the Bank of England.
He said he then "passed the instruction along" to Mark Dearlove, head of the bank's money-markets desk, to lower its contributions for the London interbank offered rate.
"It did not seem an inappropriate action given it was coming from the Bank of England," del Missier told lawmakers in in London. "The government were calling the shots."
His comments contradicted Diamond, who had told lawmakers he had had no direction from the Bank of England to lower the firm's submissions and gave no instruction.
Del Missier also embroiled more executives in the inquiry, saying compliance chief Stephen Morse was told by the bank's money markets desk about the request to lower Libor rates, and failed to act.
The desk "informed compliance of the request," del Missier said. "There was no closing of the loop." Barclays fell 4.5pc to 157.7p, the lowest in almost eight months, in London trading. The stock has declined 10pc this year, making it the worst performer in the six-member FTSE 350 Banks index. Simon Eaton, a Barclays spokesman, and Daniel Yea, Diamond's spokesman, declined to comment on del Missier's remarks.
Del Missier resigned from Britain's second-largest bank by assets on July 3, the same day as Diamond after the lender was fined £290m by regulators for attempting to manipulate Libor, a benchmark for $500trn of financial products.
Libor is calculated by a survey of banks' daily estimates of how much it would cost them to borrow from one another for different time frames and in different currencies. (Bloomberg)