Bob did tell me to fix the rate, says Diamond's right-hand man

Barclays executive del Missier's evidence to MPs seems to contradict his embattled former boss

The Barclays executive at the centre of the Libor interest rate-fixing scandal last night said he had only passed on "instructions" from a conversation he had with his then boss Bob Diamond.

In potentially explosive testimony to the Treasury Select Committee, Jerry del Missier, who quit last week as chief operating officer along with the Barclays chief executive, Mr Diamond, said: "He (Mr Diamond) said he had had a conversation with Mr (Paul) Tucker at the Bank of England. (He said) the Bank of England was getting pressure from Whitehall about the health of Barclays and that we should get our Libor rates down. That we shouldn't be outliers."

Mr Del Missier's testimony appears to contradict Mr Diamond, who told MPs there was no instruction from the Bank and that he did not intend to relay one. Mr Del Missier said: "I passed the instruction as I had received it on to the money markets desk. I relayed the contents of the conversation I had had with Mr Diamond and expected the Bank of England's views would be incorporated into Libor submissions."

Challenged on the point he said: "It was an instruction, yes." He also said he "did not know" why Mr Diamond sent him a note recording the conversation between himself and Mr Tucker, the Bank's deputy governor, after they had talked about it.

Mr Del Missier passed the instructions down to Mark Dearlove, the head of Barclays' money markets desk. He then made Barclays compliance department aware of it, but they did not contact Mr Del Missier. "The circle was not closed," Mr Del Missier admitted.

He insisted he did not consider what he did with the instruction to be improper despite MPs pointing out that the US Department of Justice considered it to be illegal. Mr Del Missier was repeatedly challenged on how he wasn't made aware of what appeared to be "standard practice" among Barclays traders, who regulators found had for several years been trying to manipulate Libor rates. Barclays paid fines of £290m as a result.

Labour's Pat McFadden, highlighted numerous occasions where the bank had "lowballed" Libor submissions and accused it of being "up to its eyeballs in dishonesty". He suggested Mr DelMissier was trying to "blame someone else" for what was going on.

But Mr DelMissier said: "To the extent that it was or wasn't going on I was not aware. Clearly it was a failure of control. It's regrettable."

Mr Del Missier was one of Mr Diamond's closest Lieutenant's during the time Barclays Capital was built into one of the world's most powerful investment banks. But he told MPs that the two men were not close friends. The 50-year-old Canadian, who is expected to head to North America after taking a break, looked ill at ease during his testimony. His former boss said he had either misunderstood or miscommunicated the conversation between himself and Mr Tucker.

Lord Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, said he had become increasingly concerned by Barclays behaviour under Bob Diamond. "There was a pattern of behaviour that was 'trying it on' and 'gaming' the system," he said. "There was a cultural tendency always to be pushing the limits."

Lord Turner said that as a result, Andrew Bailey, head of the FSA's Prudential Business Unit, had spoken to the Barclays board earlier this year to express its concerns, which he followed up with a letter to the Marcus Agius, the bank's chairman.

Mr Bailey said: "I did not have evidence that Bob Diamond was personally involved… but there was a repeated pattern which seemed not to be changing. I felt Barclays was trying it on. There was a culture of gaming us. We said this had to change." When asked whether he considered this was "no way to run a bank", he agreed.

Both regulators said Mr Diamond was well aware about the FSA's concern and expressed surprise that he had told the committee that its concerns were part of a run-of-the-mill annual review.

Profile: Del Missier was heading for the top

 

Jerry del Missier, 50, cut his teeth in the arcane world of credit derivatives in his native Canada, becoming a successful trader. He has been described as straight forward and plain speaking, but also has a reputation for ruthlessness, a commodity not in short supply in the higher echelons of investment banking. He has been at Barclays for 15 years and is a close colleague of Mr Diamond, but interestingly, not a close friend. He took full control of investment banking operations when his boss was made chief executive of the group. He also followed the tradition of the investment banking head being Barclays' top-paid executive, with his annual package nearing £50m by 2010.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower