Barclays investors call for Bob Diamond to quit as FBI steps in
14 Barclays traders face FBI probe while two leading shareholders want management gone
AS PRESSURE grows on Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond to quit over the Libor rate-fixing scandal, it has been revealed that the FBI is investigating some of the bank’s employees involved in the crisis.
Fourteen Barclays traders at the centre of the scam are the focus of an inquiry by the agency, The Sunday Times reports. The traders already face investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, but it is believed that the US has more scope to bring a case to court.
Last week Barclays was handed fines totaling £290m for attempting to manipulate interbank rates between 2005 and 2009. Most of the traders involved are believed to have been based in London and New York.
Barclays is not alone. A total of 20 international banks are being investigated by regulators for attempted rate-fixing and police across three continents are involved. RBS has already fired about 10 staff as a result of the inquiries, according to The Sunday Times, while dozens of other bankers have been suspended or sacked.
Barclays is the first bank to strike a deal with regulators, blowing the whistle on traders in return for a 30 per cent cut on their fine. However, this public admittance of guilt has put the Barclays management under extreme pressure to take responsibility for the bank's failings.
Two of Barclays key shareholders have now demanded that both Diamond and the bank’s chairman Marcus Agius step down from their positions in the wake of the scandal, The Sunday Telegraph reveals.
One of Barclays’ top 20 investors, speaking anonymously, told the paper that “the chairman and the chief executive need to be replaced”. One of the bank's top 15 investors said: "It’s difficult to see how Diamond can hold on after this. The fixings took place right under his nose."
These grumblings from the inside ramp up the pressure on Diamond, who will have an opportunity to answer his critics when he faces the Commons Treasury select committee this week.