Libor move 'seemed appropriate', says ex-Barclays boss Jerry del Missier

 

A former Barclays director who told staff to lower their Libor submissions in the midst of the financial crisis following a misunderstanding with the Bank of England today said the move seemed “appropriate”.

Jerry del Missier was dragged into the affair when it emerged he had misinterpreted a conversation between Bob Diamond and Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker as an instruction to lower Libor submissions amid fears over Barclays' financial health.

The Canadian banker, who resigned as Barclays' chief operating officer two weeks ago at the same time as Bob Diamond quit as chief executive, said he "fully expected" staff to take into account the views raised by the Bank that the bank's rates were too high.

However, Mr del Missier told the Treasury Select Committee that he only spoke to the head of the money market desk and did not follow up to check what effect his instruction had on Libor submissions.

Mr del Missier told the committee he believed the Bank of England alone instructed Barclays to lower Libor submissions.

Mr Diamond previously told the committee he did not believe the Bank of England instructed the bank to lower the inter-bank lending rate and did not believe he instructed Mr del Missier to do so.

Asked how he could have misinterpreted Mr Diamond's conversation, Mr del Missier said: "I can only tell you what I clearly recall from the conversation."

Mr del Missier, who was co-head of the investment arm Barclays Capital at the time the rates were lowered in 2008, denied that the low-balling of Libor rates was "improper" in the context of what was happening in the financial sector at the time.

He said: "What was communicated to me by Mr Diamond was that there was political pressure on the bank regarding Barclays' health, and that we should get our Libor rates down."

Mr del Missier added he was in "regular communication but not always daily" with Mr Diamond.

Mr del Missier identified the head of the money markets desk, to whom he relayed the instruction to lower Libor rates, as Mark Dearlove.

Mr del Missier told the committee he was not aware of any low-balling before the contentious phonecall between Mr Tucker and Mr Diamond.

MP Pat McFadden raised a number of examples of when Libor-fixing had been raised in the press, including references in the Financial Services Authority (FSA) report.

Mr McFadden said Barclays "was up to its armpits in dishonest activity" in the year running up to the phonecall - and said it was hard to believe Mr del Missier was unaware it was occurring.

Mr del Missier, who was separately investigated by the FSA and cleared of any wrongdoing, said: "The fact that there were control breakdowns is unacceptable. That's why we're here and I deeply regret that."

Asked if he was the "fall guy" for Mr Diamond, he said: "I don't think I'm acting as a fall guy. I've resigned my position with the bank, for the good of the bank. I'm not the fall guy for anything."

He said he and Mr Diamond were "professional friends" but did not "socialise very often".

Asked if he can understand why some hold the view that there is a conspiracy among Barclays' top executives, Mr del Missier said: "I can understand why there is resentment towards Barclays and the banks."

Mr del Missier told MPs that the money markets desk informed the bank's compliance department, which is responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures are adhered to. He identified Barclays head of compliance Stephen Morse as the senior manager who was informed.

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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 General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform