Robert Diamond, the architect of Barclays Plc’s investment banking expansion, stepped down as chief executive officer, succumbing to political pressure to go after the bank admitted to rigging global interest rates.
Diamond, 60, will resign immediately, the London-based bank said in a statement today, a day before he faces questions by British lawmakers. Diamond became CEO of Barclays on Jan. 1, 2011 after joining the bank in 1996. Marcus Agius, who said yesterday he planned to step down, will become full-time chairman and lead the search for a new CEO.
Diamond stepped down a day after the government announced a parliamentary inquiry into the U.K. banking industry. He is due to be questioned by British lawmakers on the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow.
Diamond was branded the “unacceptable face of banking” by then-Business Secretary Peter Mandelson in 2010 over his compensation. His 12 million-pound remuneration, including a 5.75 million-pound payment toward his personal tax bill last year, made him Britain’s top-paid bank CEO. In January 2011 he told Parliamentarians that the time for “remorse and apology” for banks needed to be over, prompting political outcry.