Diamond Contradicted Again in Libor Hearings; HSBC Let Problems ‘Fester’: Roundup

Conflict of interest? Royal Bank of Scotland is fighting a Canadian inquiry into the bank’s role in manipulating interbank lending, arguing that British law prevents the bank from turning over documents pertaining to the investigation. If RBS’ resistance is surprising, it’s because the bank has been majority-owned by the British government since the 2008 financial crisis, and British lawmakers have taken an aggressive stance on Barclays’ involvement in the Libor-rigging scandal.

Libor-ated: Barclays CEO Bob Diamond maybe wishing he could take a mulligan on his July 4 appearance before Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee. Last week, an email from the British Financial Services Authority to Barclays chiding the bank for pushing the envelop in its dealings with regulators had lawmakers calling Mr. Diamond a liar. Yesterday, it was Jerry del Missier, Mr. Diamond’s top lieutenant before resigning earlier this month, who seemed to contradict Mr. Diamond’s testimony.

Lax compliance: HSBC did business with Mexican drug cartels, Saudi banks with terrorist ties and Iranians under U.S. sanctions, according to a 335-page report released yesterday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, as the firm allowed compliance problems to ‘fester.’ Executives from the lender are scheduled to testify before the committee today.

Future of futures: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission conducted reviews at PFGBest, the Iowa-based futures broker facing allegations that it’s missing more than $200 million in client funds, in 2007 and 2008, but failed to uncover the fraud that has landed the firm in liquidation, Bloomberg reports. That’s despite the fact that PFG founder Russell R. Wasendorf said that he has been falsifying records for 20 years in a note written before his attempted suicide last week. The National Futures Association—PFG’s regulator—is conducting a review of its audit division.

Whiter Europe: Moody’s cut ratings on 13 Italian banks after downgrading the country’s sovereign debt last week. Is Italy just Spain with better PR?

Chief Yahoo: Former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named CEO at Yahoo yesterday. Ms. Mayer told Forbes that she’s pregnant; it sounds like Dan Loeb would have been informed.

Criminal incubators? A professor at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business asks whether MBA programs can do better when it comes to teaching ethics.

Slum lords? U.S. Bank is failing to maintain hundreds of foreclosed properties, according to an enforcement action filed by Los Angeles city officials. Memphis Tennessee, Baltimore and Maryland have previously sued banks over the cots of maintaining foreclosed properties.

Hot property: Private equity firms are competing to buy Dick Clark Productions, The New York Post reports. Diamond Contradicted Again in Libor Hearings; HSBC Let Problems ‘Fester’: Roundup