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YOU OWE A FEW BOB; BANKING SCANDAL PASSING THE BUCK Calls for Diamond to give up slice of pounds 32m mega-bonus Chairman quits over rate rigging as cops ponder move.


BARCLAYS boss Bob Diamond was last night under mounting pressure to quit and hand back a chunk of his pounds 32million bonus haul in the wake of the interest rate rigging scandal.

Critics insist he should accept responsibility for the scam which happened at the bank's investment arm when he was raking in a fortune as boss there.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius yesterday resigned after declaring "the buck stops with me", but if Mr Diamond believed that would silence calls for his head, he was very much mistaken.

Labour MP John Mann said: "The buck in Barclays stops with Bob Diamond, and it is Bob Diamond who must accept responsibility. He must resign. He's got to go. There is no role for people like him if banking is to be trusted again in this country."

His colleague Teresa Pearce, a member of the Treasury select committee, added: "Bob Diamond should pay up and go. He should give back any bonuses he received while the Libor scandal was going on."

And Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott said: "Agius was just a passenger. Diamond drove the car and led the gang. Barclays is not safe in his hands, it's as simple as that".

Lib Dem MP John Leech said: "Bob Diamond's position is untenable. He was in charge of this part of Barclays when this took place. Marcus Agius has done the right thing, now Bob Diamond needs to do the same."

Shareholder pressure group PIRC accused Barclays of concealing the information from investors at the bank's annual general meeting. At the AGM, nearly a third of shareholders voted against a pay deal for top bosses, including an pounds 18million package for Mr Diamond.

But the group insisted the rebellion could have been much stronger if investors had known about the scandal that was brewing. A spokesman added: "It is time for Bob Diamond to go. He has become a magnet for bad news and if there is more to come, it will stick to him like mud."

The calls came as the Serious Fraud Office revealed it was considering whether to bring criminal charges. In a statement it said "the issues are complex" but it would make a decision within a month on whether to launch a case.

Mr Agius, who joined Barclays in 2006, resigned amid the furore sparked by last week's record pounds 290million fine dished out to the bank for it's role in the rate fixing. The City veteran said the scandal had dealt a "devastating blow" to the bank and he was "truly sorry". He added: "As chairman, I am the ultimate guardian of the bank's reputation. Accordingly, the buck stops with me and I must acknowledge responsibility by standing aside."

The rigging of Libor - the rate banks charge each other to lend money and which affects how much customers pay to borrow - was said to have taken place between 2006 and 2009. In 2006 alone, Mr Diamond got a cash bonus of pounds 10.4million and an executive share award of pounds 4.5million.

The following year, he picked up another cash bonus worth pounds 6.5million and a share award of pounds 11.3million. On top of that, he received other shares as part of separate reward schemes which were deferred for three years.

An industry source said: "It's not clear whether the Libor manipulation made any difference to Barclay's profits. There is no reason to think that Diamond's bonus would have been any different if this hadn't have happened."

Mr Agius' wife Kate yesterday insisted her husband was "100% behind" Mr Diamond. Speaking outside her pounds 5.25million London home, she said: "Marcus thought it was the right thing to do and I'm very proud of him, Bob and Barclays."

Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, who will head an inquiry into banking malpractice, said the Libor rigging scandal is a "shameful affair that has corroded trust in the banks". But he insisted but it could be restored if the right reforms were introduced.

He said the probe would look at what lessons for "corporate governance and standards in the banking industry" could be drawn from the scandal.

Voice of the Mirror: Page 8 pounds 10.4m Diamond's cash bonus in 2006, along with a share award of pounds 4.5m. The following year his cash bonus was pounds 6.5m, but his share award was pounds 11.3m


ON HIS BIKE.. Mr Agius resigned yesterday UNDER FIRE Z Bob Diamond
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 3, 2012
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