Chief executive Diamond resigns from Barclays
After attempting to weather the swirling storm of media accusations and calls for him to step down, Bob Diamond resigned as chief executive of Barclays on Tuesday.
Pressure had been growing for Diamond to leave as the Libor-rigging scandal intensified and chairman Marcus Agius bowed out from the besieged bank on Monday. Agius now says he will stay on at least temporarily to find a successor for the chief executive role.
Diamond said his decision was prompted by the media and political response to Agius' departure.
"The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise - I cannot let that happen," he said.
"I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth."
Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the move on the BBC's Today Programme, saying it establishes a new culture of responsible banking.
"I think it's the right decision for Barclays, I think it's the right decision for the country because we need Barclays bank focused on lending to our economy and not distracted by this argument about who should be in charge," he said.
Diamond made clear in his statement on Tuesday that he still intends to explain his and his bank's actions before the Treasury Committee on Wednesday as had previously been planned.
Barclays was last week fined a record £290 million by UK and US regulators following its attempts to manipulate the Libor inter-bank lending rate.
The Serious Fraud Office is also considering whether to bring criminal charges.
In response, promising an audit of its business practices, Barclays said it would undertake a root and branch review of all of the past practices that have been revealed as flawed since the credit crisis started and publish a public report of its findings. In addition, it will produce a new, mandatory code of conduct that will be applied across the group.
Louis Brooke, spokesperson for Move Your Money UK, a campaign calling on people to move their money out of the high street banks, said: "It's only right that Bob Diamond has resigned.
"Both those who committed these crimes and the executives responsible for overseeing them have to take personal responsibility for the disgraceful behavior of the bank, and where appropriate face criminal prosecution.
"However, a couple of fat cats falling on their swords must not distract us from the urgent task at hand of reforming our banking system."
Diamond is one of the UK's highest paid chief executives, earning £20 million last year.
This was written for our sister website, Interactive Investor
The London Inter-Bank Offer Rate is the rate at which banks lend to each other over the short term from overnight to five years. The LIBOR market enables banks to cover temporary shortages of capital by borrowing from banks with surpluses and vice versa and reduces the need for each bank to hold large quantities of liquid assets (cash), enabling it to release funds for more profitable lending. LIBOR rates are used to determine interest rates on many types of loan and credit products such as credit cards, adjustable rate mortgages and business loans.