FORMER Barclays boss Bob Diamond hit out at the Bank of England, said he knew nothing of the Libor system and claimed he never went into banking for the money in a wide-ranging interview published yesterday, his first since being forced out of the bank.
Diamond left after losing the confidence of regulators in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal which saw Barclays fined £290m for submitting false figures to the key interbank lending rate.
“Up until all of this, I didn’t even know the mechanics of how Libor was set,” he told the New York Times. “If you asked me who at Barclays submitted the rate every day, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I bet you if you asked any chief executive of any bank on the street, they would give you the same answer.”
But despite his lack of direct responsibility for, or knowledge of, the manipulation, politicians and regulators decided he had to go.
Meetings took place between Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius – who also resigned – and Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, who ordered Diamond’s exit.
“My first reaction, which is still my reaction today, is, he doesn’t have the authority to do that,” Diamond said.
And the ex-chief executive insisted he had never focused on the huge pay cheques that came with the job. “This is going to sound arrogant as hell, but I never did anything for money,” he said.