Bob Diamond quits as Barclays chief executive – what do you think?

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has stepped down in the wake of the rate-rigging scandal.

He had been under increasing pressure to resign after revelations that Barclays had manipulated the Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other.

The American banker said: 'The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise.'

He added: 'I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth.'

The bank Barclays was fined �290 million by UK and US regulators for rigging the Libor.

Chairman Marcus Agius offered his resignation yesterday, but will now stay at the bank.

Mr Diamond, 60, said: 'My motivation has always been to do what I believed to be in the best interests of Barclays. No decision over that period was as hard as the one that I make now to stand down as chief executive.'

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He went on: 'I know that each and every one of the people at Barclays works hard every day to serve our customers and clients. That is how we support economic growth and the communities in which we live and work.'

Mr Diamond is due to appear before the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow to answer questions over the rate-fixing allegations which ultimately led to the Government yesterday launching a parliamentary probe into banking culture.

He added: 'I leave behind an extraordinarily talented management team that I know is well placed to help the business emerge from this difficult period as one of the leaders in the global banking industry.'

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