Diamond Says Unaware of ‘Mechanics’ of Libor, N.Y. Times Reports

Robert Diamond, ousted as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc (BARC) after the U.K. bank was fined for rigging interest rates last year, said he was unaware of the mechanics of how the London interbank offered rate was set, according to the New York Times.

Before the scandal broke, he wouldn’t have known who at the bank was responsible for submissions to the benchmark, Diamond said in an interview with the newspaper today. As he turned through the pages of internal e-mails among traders uncovered by regulators he felt “physically sick,” he was cited as saying.

He was ousted by Bank of England government Mervyn King, who told Barclays chairman Marcus Agius at a July 2 meeting that Diamond no longer had the confidence of his regulators, the New York Times reported. Diamond says his initial reaction is still that King didn’t have the authority to do that, the Times said.

Diamond also told the newspaper he underestimated the U.K. public’s anger against banks and their executives. He’s now considering plans to start a firm that will buy stakes in businesses in Africa and Europe, according to the Times.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

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