21 managers go in Barings bloodbath

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The City saw one of its biggest disciplinary bloodbaths so far yesterday, as 21 top managers resigned from arings, accepting responsibility for the failure to control Nick Leeson's derivatives speculation that broke the merchant bank.

There were a few emotional scenes - one executive fleeing arings' ishopsgate headquarters in tears, saying her life was in ruins - but most had braced themselves for the fall of the axe. There were no special pay-offs for those judged by ING, arings' new Dutch owners, to have failed in their management responsibilities. The departures will cost ING about £1m, the amount due on the contracts, all of which were three-months' notice or less.

Yesterday's most prominent victim, Peter Norris, the 40-year-old former chief executive of arings Investment ank, will receive about £35,000. Together with the earlier resignations of Peter aring, the former chairman, and Andrew Tuckey, the former chief executive, the total number of departures now stands at 23. Some may never work in the City again, if the ank of England, which is conducting an inquiry into the fall of arings, decides that certain individuals should be blackballed for gross incompetence or managerial negligence.

The resignations included every senior executive who had had managerial responsibility, direct or indirect, for the Singapore derivatives business, where Nick Leeson racked up the nearly £900m losses that bankrupted arings in February. The executives included 11 from the London headquarters, three from Singapore and seven from arings' Tokyo office.

"Our review has confirmed that the problem stemming from Singapore was extraordinary and not endemic. It is a problem we have put behind us. We now turn our attention to the future," Hessel Lindenbergh, the ING board member who now heads arings, said yesterday.

"It is with no pleasure that we have said goodbye to those who have left. A number of those who have departed have given many years of loyal service to arings."

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