Marcus Agius, chairman of British bank Barclays, has resigned due to the company’s involvement in the Libor scandal.
In his resignation letter he stated, “I am the ultimate guardian of the bank’s reputation. Accordingly, the buck stops with me and I must acknowledge responsibility by standing aside.” He added that the scandal, “had dealt a devastating blow to Barclays reputation.”
Agius, who is also head of the British Banker’s Association, steps down a week after Barclays was fined £290m by the Financial Services Authority for trying to tweak the Libor international lending rate. Libor is used across 10 different currencies and forms the pricing foundation for hundreds of trillions of dollars’ worth of securities worldwide.
Sir Michael Rake has been appointed deputy chairman at the bank, a move that puts him in line to succeed Agius as chairman as Barclays announced a ‘root and branch’ review of its banking and business practices.
Both Agius and Barclay’s chief executive Bod Diamond will be questioned by MPs on the Treasury Committee this week about the allegations, as well as the growing controversy surrounding banking ethics and culture in general. It remains to be seen whether Diamond will too fall on his sword, as a probe is already under way into dozens of other financial service companies, including RBS, Citigroup, UBS and HSBC.
Written and Presented by Alfred Joyner