Del Missier claims 'political pressure' on Libor
Jerry del Missier has told MPs he thought there was "political pressure" on Barclays to lower its Libor submissions in 2008.
Discussing a conversation with then chief executive Bob Diamond, the bank's former chief operating officer told the Treasury Select Committee that "what was communicated to me by Mr Diamond was political pressure to get our Libor rates down".
Mr Diamond had himself spoken to Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker about 'Whitehall figures' who were concerned that Barclays' submissions were consistently higher than those of other banks.
Mr del Missier said: “I relayed the contents of the conversation that I’d had with Mr Diamond and fully expected that the Bank of England’s views would be incorporated in the Libor submissions.”
Lord Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, has also appeared before the committee and revealed he and Sir Mervyn King were "at one" with their message to Barclays that Mr Diamond had to step down.
Mr del Missier resigned a fortnight ago, and was previously co-chief of Barclays Capital, which Mr Diamond also led.
He also admitted that at the time it did not strike him that manipulating Libor was a particularly serious matter.
“The entire financial system was hanging in the balance, and in the grand scheme of everything that was going on it didn’t seem a significant event, given the number of significant events that were transpiring at that time,” he said.
“It didn’t strike me as improper in late October of 2008. I’m merely telling you how I looked at it in 2008."
Sir Mervyn will tomorrow be questioned on whether the Bank of England turned a blind eye to misbehaviour at Barclays during the rate-rigging scandal.