Barclays Chief Executive Resigns as Parliamentary Inquiry Launched
July 3, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Following mounting pressure regarding the interest rate fixing scandal, Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond is “deeply disappointed” to resign today.
Mr Diamond said in a statement: “My motivation has always been to do what I believed to be in the best interests of Barclays. No decision over that period was as hard as the one that I make now to stand down as chief executive. The external pressure has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise – I cannot let that happen.”
Chancellor George Osborne said he hoped it was the “first step towards a new culture of responsibility in British banking”.
There have been increasing demands for a public inquiry into the loss of trust in British banking, leading the government to announce a parliamentary inquiry into professional and cultural standards in the industry. The government have argued that a quick inquiry could draw up proposals in time for inclusion in a banking bill next spring. The Serious Fraud Office is also considering whether to bring criminal charges.
The proposed inquiry will be chaired by the respected Conservative chairman of the Treasury select committee, Andrew Tyrie. Witnesses can be compelled to give evidence under oath. It is due to report by the end of December and will be provided with extra research resources by the Treasury.
By Sarah Leyland
[Image courtesy of World Economic Forum]