Jerry del Missier
Barclays chief operating officer Jerry del Missier has quit the investment bank (Barclays)

Jerry del Missier has resigned from Barclays Bank, as the chief operating officer becomes the third executive casualty in as many days at the scandal-hit British financial institution.

Del Missier follows Bob Diamond, Barclays chief executive, whose surprise resignation comes in the wake of revelations that some of the bank's traders fixed the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) in order to benefit their trading positions.

Other banks, such as RBS and HSBC, are being implicated in the scandal.

"My 15 years at Barclays have been a time of great accomplishment, both for me personally and for the bank," del Missier said in a statement.

An investigation by the Financial Services Authority exposed Barclays traders conspiring with another department responsible for reporting the rate at which Barclays borrows from other banks in order to manipulate the figure.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius confirmed that del Missier had told the bank's staff to lower Libor rates.

Embarrassing emails revealed the pally relationship between the two departments.

"Dude. I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger," wrote one trader to a submitter after a rate fixing.

As a result the bank was slapped with a £59.5m fine, the biggest ever in the City of London. There have been calls for criminal prosecutions for those acting fraudulently and the Serious Fraud Office is examinging the evidence.

Owen Watkins, a top corporate barrister who once worked for the FSA, cautioned that it would be "too difficult" to mount criminal charges.

"The authorities already know who they are and if the SFO did want to bring about criminal charges, it would be the traders at the coalface that would most likely be the targets," he said.

"The SFO would need to consider whether the evidence would support a charge of fraud and/or conspiracy to defraud.

"However, what people have to remember is that the authorities would have considered the prospects of a successful criminal prosecution during the time of their lengthy investigation into the Libor affair and after 18 months, they obviously had decided not to proceed down this route - either because there was no evidence of criminality or because they took the view that the evidence available was insufficient to support a successful criminal prosecution."

Diamond stepped down a few hours before del Missier after political and public pressure to resign.

He headed up the investment banking arm of the bank while the rate-fixing took place. Now Diamond is under pressure from the Barclays Board and shareholders to forego a £20m exit package.

Agius chairman, had resigned from his post the night before Diamond quit. However, in a confusing turn of events, once Diamond stepped down Agius was reinstated as full time chairman.

Naguib Kheraj, vice-chairman of Barclays, and Rich Ricci, cheif executive of Barclays Corporate and Investment Banking arm, have both been tipped as potential successors to Diamond.

The government has set up a parliamentary inquiry into the culture and standards in the banking industry because of the scandal.

"The behaviour of some in the financial services industry has damaged the reputation of an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people and is vital to the success of our economy," Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement to MPs.