Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond hit back strongly yesterday at claims by British lawmakers that he gave “highly selective” evidence over the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
The cross-party Treasury Select Committee issued a report yesterday in which lawmakers accused US national Diamond of holding back information while it grilled him last month over the Libor affair.
The committee also said British regulators had shown serious shortcomings in their failure to stop Barclays manipulating the key Libor interest rate, and said the Bank of England was naive to think banks would not behave dishonestly.
Company culture at Barclays was “deeply flawed” and the Bank of England’s hand in removing Diamond was hard to justify, said the 300-page report.
Unhappy with the criticism against him, Diamond said in a statement: “I strongly challenge certain assertions about my testimony.”
“I answered every question that was put to me to me truthfully, candidly and based on information available to me. I categorically refute any suggestion to the contrary.”
Diamond resigned last month over Libor along with the Barclays’ chairman and chief operating officer.
Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate, is a flagship London instrument used as an interest rate benchmark throughout the world.
The rate affects what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money, while the scandal risks engulfing banks across the world.
Banks across the world are meanwhile being investigated to see if they too were guilty of manipulating rates.
Earlier Saturday, Andrew Tyrie, the lawmaker who chaired the Treasury select committee inquiry which produced the Libor report, said: “Mr Diamond’s evidence, at times highly selective, fell well short of the standard that parliament expects, particularly from such an experienced and senior witness.”