Two top men at Barings resign

Peter Baring and Andrew Tuckey, chairman and deputy chairman of Barings, resigned yesterday, assuming formal responsibility for failing to spot the disastrous derivatives speculation that bust Britain's oldest merchant bank in February.

They are the first departures since Barings was bought by ING, the Dutch bank, but more senior executives are expected to leave once the Bank of England has completed its investigation into the events leading up to the bank's collapse.

Confidential internal documents handed to the investigators and acquired by the Independent reveal failures by senior management to act on concerns about the derivatives speculation of Nick Leeson in Barings' Singapore office. The documents reveal that worries about insufficient trading details were raised frequently but never acted on. Concerns were relayed to all levels of Barings managment, with executives sent to Singapore to investigate, but there was never a considered response until it was too late.

Reports were commissioned, and in effect ignored, as were internal auditors' calls made as far back as August 1994 for an immediate change in Mr Leeson's responsibilities in Singapore.

As well as the Bank of England investigation, inquiries are being conducted by the Securities and Futures Authority and the Serious Fraud Squad.

ING has previously said it would not push for resignations, but would await completion of the inquiries. Peter Baring and Andrew Tuckey had offered their resignations to ING on the day the Dutch took over, but were asked to stay on to smooth the handover. The two men apparently insisted on being able to depart at the first opportunity as a matter of honour.

While Mr Baring, aged 59, is expected to retire from the City, Mr Tuckey, aged 51, who once harboured ambitions of high office, even at the Bank of England, is believed to be interested in a return to Barings should his name be cleared. Hessel Lindebergh, an ING director now in charge of Barings, said: "We accept fully that they have made their decision on the basis of honour and principle."

Mr Baring and Mr Tuckey said in a joint statement: "With the new owners of Barings and with the individual businesses in the group returning to normal, ING and we have agreed that the time has come for us to resign. We have spent most of our professional lives with Barings and we view with great sadness and regret the events of recent weeks."

The Bank of England's investigation, the fact-gathering part of which is expected to be completed next month, is focusing on the extensive failure of controls that enabled Mr Leeson to build up undetected his massive derivatives speculation, which led to losses of around £850m.

A number of former senior executives, including those directly responsible in London for Mr Leeson, and some on Baring's special group committee for assessing risk, have not been appointed to the management of the new Barings by the Dutch owners. These people are no longer involved in the daily business, and are helping the authorities with their inquiries.

The main individuals involved are Peter Norris, the former head of Barings Securities; Ronald Baker, the head of the financial products group and Mr Leeson's direct London boss; Tony Hawes, the group treasurer; Ian Hopkins, the head of group control; and Geoffrey Broadhurst, finance director of Barings Securities.

Comment, page 25

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?