By Simon Miller
Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has written to the head of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie accusing the committee of damaging his reputation.
The letter came hours after Diamond forewent £20m worth of severance pay and Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius gave evidence in Parliament.
In his evidence, Agius refused to back some of Diamond’s own evidence to the committee and in particular Diamond’s claim that he was unaware of contact between regulators and Agius nor of any concern about the behaviour of the bank.
Agius said he had told Diamond that Bank of England governor Mervyn King and Financial Services Authority chief Adair Turner had withdrawn their support of the then-chief executive.
Committee member John Mann accused Diamond of misleading the committee when he said he didn’t remember discussions over the behaviour of the bank.
Mann added: “And yet we have this letter, which is the most extraordinary letter, on the most serious of issues to your bank at the time Diamond was in charge. He has calculatedly and deliberately misled this committee. It cannot be true that Mr Diamond forgot this letter.
Diamond wrote: “Having watched the Committec's session today, I was dismayed that you and some of your fellow Committee members appear to have suggested that I was less than candid with the Committee last week. Any such suggestion would be totally unfair and unfounded.”
He added that the focus of the committee’s concern appeared to relate to correspondence between Turner and Agius in April 2012.
He continued: “The questions asked of me, however, concerned the period of my promotion in September 2010 and the board meeting I attended in February
2012. As the letters of April 2012 make clear, those letters followed an April meeting between Messrs. Turner and Agius which I did not attend. I was not asked about the April 2012 meeting nor was I asked about nor shown follow up letters to that April meeting at our session.”
Diamond concluded: “The comments made at today's hearing have had a terribly unfair impact upon my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me. I look forward to discussing this issue with you further if you wish to do so.”