Ex-Barclays exec hits back over Libor attacks

Ex-Barclays exec hits back over Libor attacks

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond on Aug. 18 hit back strongly at claims by British lawmakers that he gave “highly selective” evidence over the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

The cross-party Treasury Select Committee issued a report on Aug. 18 in which lawmakers accused U.S. national Diamond of holding back information while it grilled him last month over the Libor affair.

The committee also said British regulators had shown serious shortcomings in their failure to stop Barclays manipulating the key Libor interest rate, and said the Bank of England was naive to think banks would not behave dishonestly.

Unhappy with the criticism against him, Diamond said in a statement: “I strongly challenge certain assertions about my testimony.”

“I answered every question that was put to me to me truthfully, candidly and based on information available to me. I categorically refute any suggestion to the contrary.”

Diamond resigned last month over Libor along with the Barclays’ chairman and chief operating officer.
Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate, is a flagship London instrument used as an interest rate benchmark throughout the world.

The rate affects what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money, while the scandal risks engulfing banks across the world.

British and U.S. regulators fined Barclays 290 million ($453 million, 369 million euros) in June after the bank admitted that it attempted to manipulate the Libor and the related European Euribor rates between 2005 and 2009.

The fallout risks becoming much wider, however, with analysts claiming that the lender could face massive lawsuits, since mortgage rates passed onto customers were influenced by Libor rates.