We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop in the Libor-rigging scandal, and we venture to say that anyone associated with Barclays is probably with us—until regulators offer up some dirt on another bank, the British lender will continue to get the worst of it.
Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, who resigned last week, but is staying on until the board settles on a new chief executive, testified before Parliament today and released an email from the Financial Services Authority indicating that the regulator was a bit peeved with the British lender.
“Barclays has a tendency continually to seek advantage from complex structures or favorable regulatory interpretations,” wrote FSA Chairman Adair Turner in April. “The net impact has clearly been unfavorable to the degree of external trust in Barclays’s approach to issues such as tax, regulation and accounting.”
Mr. Agius said he shared the letter with former Bob Diamond, the recently resigned Barclays boss who told Parliament on July 4 that regulators were generally happy with the bank. Which did not sit well with a pair of British lawmakers, according to Bloomberg:
“Diamond lied to the committee,” David Ruffley, a committee member from the U.K.’s ruling Conservative Party, said at today’s hearing. John Mann, a fellow committee member and lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, said Diamond should be recalled to give more evidence.
“The information provided by Marcus Agius exposes the inconsistencies of Bob Diamond’s responses,” Mann said. “Our only option is to recall Diamond to get the full truth.”
And so Barclays’ first-mover disadvantage continues, and it’s hard to imagine things improving much until another bank gets dragged through the mud. Maybe when German regulator Bafin announces the results of its special probe into Deutsche Bank later this month?