Bob Diamond: 'unacceptable face of banking'
ReutersBob Diamond in happier days, after being named chief executive of Barclays in 2010. "The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise -- I cannot let that happen," Diamond said in a statement Tuesday, explaining his decision to step down with immediate effect following an interest-rate-fixing scandal. ReutersBarclays headquarters in London. British Members of Parliament, or MPs, from the Treasury select committee will put questions to Bob Diamond later Wednesday on the Libor scandal that has engulfed the financial-services industry and stolen headlines recently. ReutersBarclays was the only U.K. bank that did not take government funds during the financial crisis, an outcome credited in part to Diamond, who led the bank's investment-banking division before being named chief executive in 2010. ReutersThe reputation of Barclays has been dealt a further blow in a nation where banks and bankers have been largely out of favor with a cash-strapped public. Diamond himself has been a lightning rod for financial-sector ire over his pay, reported to be in excess of $187 million since 2007, according to media reports. ReutersJerry del Missier, who stepped down as chief operating officer at Barclays this week. Barclays said Missier had "concluded that an instruction had been passed down from the Bank of England not to keep Libors so high [and] passed down an instruction to that effect to the submitters." ReutersBarclays Chairman Marcus Agius, center, was the first senior executive to resign his position from the bank in an effort to defuse the situation. He has since said he will stay on to lead the search for a new chief executive. ReutersCommuters walk past the Bank of England, which is facing increasing scrutiny over the level of influence it may have wielded over Libor submissions by Barclays.ReutersPaul Tucker, Bank of England deputy governor, who, according to a memo written by Diamond after speaking with Tucker in 2008, was said to question why Barclays was consistently "toward the top end of the Libor pricing." Some have interpreted Tucker's reported remark as suggesting that the BoE official knew of abnormalities in Libor submissions from Barclays and other banks. ReutersChancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, left, poses with Bank of England Governor Mervyn King last summer. Osborne said that the previous government, under the Labour Party, had the "most to fear" from Libor-related revelations if MPs vote in favor of a full public inquiry into the matter. The vote is due to take place Thursday. ReutersJ.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon testified earlier this summer at a congressional hearing on the firm's trading losses at its London office. Dimon, like U.S.-born Diamond, is seen by some as emblematic of a cut-throat financial sector. Diamond was described as the "unacceptable face" of banking by then-U.K. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson in 2010.