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MPs not convinced by Bob Diamond’s explanations

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MPs not convinced by Bob Diamond’s explanations

Some MPs were surprised at the explanation provided by Barclays former CEO Bob Diamond regarding the Libor-rigging scandal.

Mr. Diamond said he had only learnt the true extent of the scandal this month, and he called the employees’ behavior “reprehensible”.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Committee, said he found Mr. Diamond’s explanations “implausible” and he was skeptical of what he heard.

“We learnt that Bob Diamond says he didn’t know anything about this until about month ago, which I find rather surprising.

“I think, cumulatively, the whole package looks somewhat implausible. And if it is plausible, it’s only because there is something wrong with the culture of Barclays and, of course, it’s the culture that needs to be put right.”

Mr. Diamond said his resignation is merely to protect his reputation and that is “disappointed” and “angry” for what has happened.

In another development, the Bank of England’s deputy governor, Paul Tucker, has asked to give evidence to the Treasury Committee in order to give his side of the story.

“Mr Tucker is keen to give evidence to the committee in order to clarify the position with regard to the events involving the Bank of England, including the telephone conversation with Bob Diamond on 29 October 2008,” the Bank said in a statement.

On the phone conversation, Mr. Tucker suggested to Mr. Diamond to change the bank’s rate submissions. The conversation was then relayed to Jerry del Missier, Barclay’s Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. del Missier had misunderstood the conversation, and directed traders to take actions to lower Barclay’s Libor rates.

Chancellor George Osborne has raised accusations against members of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s inner circle of involvement in the rate-rigging scandal.

Mr. Osborne said that Brown’s government members including current shadow chancellor Ed Balls have questions to answer for putting pressure on Barclays to post lower Libor rates.

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