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Former bank boss gives up $30m. bonus

LONDON — Ex-Barclays boss Bob Diamond will receive his salary and benefits worth in excess of 2 million, but has given up bonuses worth up to 20 million after resigning amid the bank Libor scandal.

Barclays executive chairman Marcus Agius, being questioned by MPs about the scandal, said Diamond had given up his bonus voluntarily.

Agius also resigned but agreed to stay on to find Diamond’s successor.

He said he “regretted deeply” what had happened and was “truly sorry”.

He told the committee he had resigned because he felt “ultimately responsible for the reputation of the bank”.

He said Diamond had resigned because “it became clear he had lost the support of his regulators”. Diamond’s salary was 1.35m, and he had a six-month notice period in his contract.

The committee pressed Agius, who is a senior non-executive director on the BBC executive board, on the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) annual review of Barclays that said the bank was aggressive in its practices and misleading on bank stress tests.

They also quoted a letter from FSA chief Lord Turner saying the bank had left an impression with the regulator that “Barclays has a tendency continually to seek advantage from complex structures or favourable regulatory interpretations”.

MPs also asked if Agius had passed on the FSA’s “issues” with Diamond when he was appointed as chief executive. Agius said that he had. In his evidence to the committee last week, Diamond said he had not.

Agius described the actions of those who had fixed rates as “abhorrent”, but said at no point were these actions revealed to the board. He said they did not reflect the wider culture at the bank.

He said Barclays had complied with the FSA’s investigation, and once it became clear that some of the bank’s traders had been fixing Libor submissions, it paid the 290m fine imposed by regulators and decided that four senior executives should give up their bonuses.

Only once the public’s anger became clear, he said, did he decide further action, in the form of his resignation, was needed.

He added that the bank’s brokers “made it clear that shareholders did not want Mr Diamond to go”.

However, Agius said he was summoned to a meeting with Bank of England governor Mervyn King on the evening of Monday 2 July, the day he resigned, where he was told in no uncertain terms that the regulators had lost confidence in Diamond.

Agius then visited Diamond at his family home to relay this message. The next morning, Diamond resigned. (BBC)

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