LONDON, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond announced his resignation early Tuesday amid escalating pressure over the bank's Libor-rigging scandal, only 24 hours after chairman Marcus Agius's resignation.
Marcus Agius will stay in his post until a successor is found and will lead the search for a new chief executive, while Diamond will leave with immediate effect.
Barclays was fined a combination of 452 million U.S. dollars by U.S. and British regulators on June 27 for some of its traders and senior managers attempting to manipulate Libor, an important interbank lending rate guiding price-setting of about 360 trillion-U.S.-dollar financial products around the world, and Euribor, the euro's equivilant to Libor.
Diamond said in a statement: "The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise. I cannot let that happen."
The American-born banker joined Barclays in 1996, and worked as its chief executive from January 2011. The misconduct reported by regulators happened just in Barclays' investment banking arm where he was the head during that period, leaving many convinced that he cannot continue with his post.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) George Osborne welcomed Diamond's resignation and hoped it was the "first step towards a new culture of responsibility in British banking."
The British government has expressed deep concern about the Libor-setting mechanism and the work ethic of the wider banking sector since the scandal floated out.
Prime Minister David Cameron has set up two inquiry teams in the treasury and in the parliament to look into the Libor fixing and the banking standards.
Diamond will appear before the Treasury Committee to answer questions about the Libor affair on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Barclays PLC, the second largest bank by assets in Britain, has agreed to pay more than 450 million U.S. dollars to settle U.S. and British joint charges that it attempted to manipulate interest rates and made false reports concerning global benchmark interest rates, U.S. regulators and the bank itself said on Wednesday.
Barclays attempted to manipulate and made false reports regarding two global benchmark interest rates -- LIBOR and Euribor -- on numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis over a four-year period commencing as early as 2005, said the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a statement. Full story