Osborne: Diamond resignation 'was right decision'

Jul 03, 2012, 07:42 AM

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has described Bob Diamond's resignation as a first step towards a change of culture and a new age of responsibility in banking.

Mr Diamond had done the right thing for the bank, he said.

Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius told Mr Osborne that Mr Diamond would step down last night. The Chancellor said, repeatedly, that it was not his decision to hire or fire Barclays executives, that was for the bank's board.

It was public knowledge that the Royal Bank of Scotland was involved in this, said the Chancellor, but its leadership had changed since then and Barclays' had not.

People "may well stand in the dock" he said as the Serious Fraud Office examined whether fraud had been committed. The Libor scandal had opened a door on the very bad practices in banking.

The Chancellor backed the idea of new criminal sanctions and said they would be put into law this autumn. He said: "The banks are broken and we've got to fix them."

He accused Gordon Brown of presiding over a "deal" with the banks, saying: "There was a pact in the last decade that said you make lots of money for the country and we'll spend the money on public services and other things."

Labour would lose a parliamentary vote on an inquiry today, he forecast, and would then see sense and join in with the government's plans. #Barclays #r4today

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