Bob Diamond plans City comeback with new African banking business

Diamond is expected to list a cash shell on the LSE in a bid to raise more than £150 million to acquire an African bank.

Bob Diamond, the man who was once dubbed the "unacceptable face of banking", is reportedly working out the final details of his highly anticipated City comeback with a new African banking business.

Diamond is expected to list a cash shell on the London Stock Exchange within two weeks in a bid to raise more than £150 million to acquire a controlling stake in an African bank.

The American financier has partnered with Ashish Thakkar, chief executive of Mara Group and Africa's youngest billionaire, in his first major banking venture following his dramatic departure from Barclays.

His return to London will surely raise a few eyebrows given his reputation in the City, where his name is often associated with the Libor rigging scandal that cost him the top job at the bank in July 2012.

Diamond resigned under intense pressure from politicians and regulators after it emerged that Barclays traders engaged in a secret scheme to manipulate the crucial London inter-bank lending rate, which underpins trillions of pounds in the derivatives market but also mortgages and commercial loans.

Barclays was fined £290 million as a result. Diamond waived his £20 million bonus but walked out with a hefty £2 million in payoffs.

Diamond also caused uproar when he told regulators in 2011 that the time for banks to be sorry about the crisis was "over".

In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year, Diamond admitted that moving on from the scandal had been hard but that he was ready to turn the page.

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