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Barclays' boss admits 'mistakes'

Barclays' boss admits 'mistakes'

Thu July 5, 2012 8:25am

FORMER Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has acknowledged there had been "mistakes" and "reprehensible" behaviour at the bank as he appeared before a British parliamentary probe.

"Clearly there were mistakes, clearly there was behaviour that was reprehensible," Mr Diamond said, while insisting that Barclays had acted quickly to tackle problems as soon as a rate-fixing scandal came to light.

"The attitude of Barclays three years ago when this was recognised was let's get to the bottom of it," he said.

Mr Diamond quit as chief executive of the British bank on Tuesday, on the same day as the firm's chief operating officer Jerry del Missier. They stepped down after chairman Marcus Agius resigned Monday.

The bank was last week fined 290 million pounds ($440 million) by British and US regulators for attempted rigging of the Libor and Euribor interest rates.

Libor is a flagship London instrument used throughout the world, while Euribor is the eurozone equivalent. The rates play a key role in global markets, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money.

Manipulating the rate could have given the impression that the bank was in a stronger position financially than it actually was.

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