Diamond: unfair and unfounded to say I was not candid

David Hellier
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BOB Diamond yesterday accused the Treasury select committee of tarnishing his reputation as the Libor scandal surrounding the bank he once ran continues to unfold.

In a letter to chairman Andrew Tyrie, the former Barclays boss expressed “dismay” at the suggestion that he was “less than candid with the committee last week,” calling the implication “totally unfair and unfounded”.

MPs’ comments that evidence from Diamond and Barclays chairman Marcus Agius did not match up “have had a terribly unfair impact upon my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me,” added Diamond.

Diamond’s fightback comes as it emerged shareholders in Barclays have expressed their concern at the involvement of Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King in the former chief executive’s departure, a banking analyst said yesterday.

“I know a number of shareholders in Barclays who are outraged at the role of the Bank of England,” Ian Gordon of Investec told City A.M. yesterday.

“The majority of shareholders were behind Bob Diamond after the Libor report was first published and both the FSA report and the US authorities congratulated Barclays on its openness and thoroughness and exonerated senior members of the management.”

“The messages from the regulators have been inconsistent and in the end they played to the gallery,” said Gordon. “Bob Diamond’s removal was popular so they asked for it. It is a pretty shameful state of affairs.”

Agius confirmed yesterday that he had been summoned by King to a meeting at which the removal of Diamond was requested on the grounds that regulators had lost confidence in him.