Diamond: Rivals Lowballed Libor

Former Barclays CEO blames competitors and says regulators failed to act promptly.

Robert Diamond, who quit this week as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc, sought to blame other banks for misleading markets about their ability to borrow and regulators for turning a blind eye.

Ordered to testify to British lawmakers after Barclays agreed to pay a record 290-million-pound ($455 million) fine for rigging the London interbank offered rate, Diamond said yesterday he was “disappointed” regulators failed to act on repeated warnings from Barclays that competitors had lowballed their submissions. Legislators challenged him on why he took so long to uncover his own firm’s attempts to manipulate the rate.

‘Physically Ill’

“When I read the e-mails from those traders, I got physically ill,” he told lawmakers.

Nationalization Threat

Barclays spoke to the Bank of England, the U.K. Financial Services Authority, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the British Bankers’ Association 33 times in 2007 and 2008, the lender said in an earlier statement to lawmakers.

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