5 Jul 2012

Former Barclays boss questioned over financial scandal

6:06 am on 5 July 2012

Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has been questioned by British MPs about the rate-rigging scandal that has cost him his job at the UK bank.

The bank has been fined more than fined £290 million for its role in manipulating the key Libor inter-bank lending rate.

Mr Diamond told by MPs on the Treasury Committee that the behaviour of those responsible for rate-rigging at the bank was reprehensible, the BBC reports.

He said he only learned the true extent of the scandal this month, and felt physically ill when reading incriminating emails from traders.

Mr Diamond, who resigned on Monday, was asked about who knew what and when, and the role of the Bank of England and the previous government in the rate-fixing.

He defended the bank's actions to address the problems, saying that Barclays acted quickly as soon as it recognised the problem three years ago.

He said a number of supervisors at Barclays had already been dealt with, while he understood that there would be ongoing criminal investigations.

Manipulation of Libor rates took place in 2008, around the time Barclays was raising funds privately in the Middle East, rather than taking emergency loans from the government like a number of other major UK banks, following the credit crunch and the onset of the financial crisis.

The BBC says Barclays is also being investigated for manipulating Libor rates to increase profits as far back as 2005.