Barclays, one of the world's big banks, is under siege in a Libor interest- rate manipulation scandal which forced both its ceo and board chairman to quit. Housecleaning at the bank came less than a week after it reached a $453 million settlement with U.S. and U.K. regulators investigating manipulation of the benchmark interest rate Libor ( the London Interbank Offered Rate,or the average cost of borrowing at which Britain’s banks lend each other money). The ballooning scandal ,coupled with stock market instability, is likely to fuel fresh doubts about the integrity of stock markets. With $2.4 trillion in assets, London-based Barclays ranks as the fifth-largest bank in Europe. Barclays is a so-called "universal bank". It offers retail services such as bank accounts to individuals and lending to small businesses. It advises companies on matters such as deals and manages stock and bond offerings. It also trades in the stock and bond markets and lends to companies. The name is well-known to account-holders in the U.K., Europe and Africa, The bank’s investment-banking unit, Barclays Capital, now known simply as Barclays is Barclays's largest profit generator, earning $16 billion in total income in 2011. Barclays was not part of the U.K. government's bailout of its banks in 2008. It took injections of private capital from investors.