By Simon Miller
Barclay's former chief operating officer Jerry del Missier has pointed the finger at its former chief executive Bob Diamond over low-balling the bank's Libor submission.
Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, del Missier confirmed he had ordered the low-balling but added that he had taken action over Barclay's Libor setting as a result of the phone call he had with Diamond.
He told the committee: “I passed the instruction on to the head of the money market desk. I relayed the content of the conversation I had with Mr Diamond and fully expected the Bank of England views would be fully incorporated in the Libor submission. I expected that they would take those views into account.”
del Missier added: “I took the action on the basis of the phone call that I had had with Mr Diamond.”
When MPs pointed out that this did not fit with Diamond's evidence, del Missier commented: “I only know what I clearly recollect from the conversation.”
In evidence to the select committee, Diamond said del Missier had misinterpreted the former chief executive's operating note to him.
del Missier continued: "[Mr Diamond] said that he had a conversation with Mr Tucker [Paul Tucker, deputy governor at the Bank of England] that the Bank of England was getting pressure from Whitehall around Barclays, on the health of Barclays as a result of Libor rates, and that we should get our Libor rates down and that we should not be outliers.”
Although later admitting that the actions were illegal in the US, del Missier commented: “At the time it did not seem an inappropriate action given that this was coming from the Bank of England.”