As reported by WSJ’s Max Colchester, Jason Douglas and Ainsley Thomson, Former Barclays Chief Executive Robert Diamond sought to cast doubts about the behavior of other banks during a marathon session with U.K. lawmakers looking into an unfolding interest-rate scandal.
In a carefully choreographed performance, the 60-year-old American appeared to dodge questions over how it was possible he wasn’t aware of the attempted manipulation of a key interbank lending rate by his top traders at the bank.
Instead, he questioned how banks that were part-nationalized during the height of the 2008 global financial crisis, such as Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Lloyds Banking Group PLC., were able to claim cheaper borrowing costs than Barclays and said he feared the government would step in to take over part of his bank, too.
He also denied that he had any knowledge that traders at the bank tried to rig the rates to pad the bank’s profits until official investigations began. The revelations he said, “made me feel physically sick.”
Tuesday, Barclays published a note written by Mr. Diamond in 2008 suggesting that a top Bank of England official, Paul Tucker, under pressure from the U.K. government, may have tacitly encouraged the bank to lower its submissions to a panel that sets the London interbank lending rate.