By Marietta Cauchi
THE EVENT: Bob Diamond, Barclays PLC (BCS) chief executive, is under pressure to resign following the bank's agreement Wednesday to pay GBP290 million ($452 million) to settle a long-running probe by U.S. and U.K. regulators into allegation that traders at the bank sought to manipulate interbank lending rates.
The record fines and disclosure of embarrassing if not incriminating emails and messages at a time when Mr. Diamond was head of BarCap, the investment banking unit responsible for trades, has led to criticism from politicians, regulators and the public.
Here are some of the comments being made since Wednesday and historically by the major players.
Mr. Diamond defending bankers' pay packages to U.K. Treasury Select Committee in January 2011: "There was a period of remorse and apology for banks, and I think that period needs to be over."
Mr. Diamond, Wednesday: "The events which gave rise to today's resolutions relate to past actions which fell well short of the standards to which Barclays aspires in the conduct of its business."
George Osborne, U.K. chancellor in Parliament, Thursday: "Barclays CEO has serious questions to answer."
Mr. Osborne, Thursday: "Examining possibility of criminal proceedings against management of failed banks."
Opposition Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband in Parliament, Thursday: "When ordinary people break the law, they face charges, prosecution and punishment; the same should happen here," Sky reported.
Daniel Stewart stockbroker, Thursday: "Mr. Diamond's exit would be a mistake not least because he has been instrumental in helping Barclays avoid the need for a state bailout over the financial crisis and has steered the capital markets business to a top three global position in most of its major areas."
European Commission, Thursday: [The Commission] is "following very closely" the recent developments in the interest rate-fixing probe.
British Bankers Association, Thursday: "The British Bankers' Association is shocked by yesterday's report about Libor. As part of our current Libor review, we will now be asking the authorities to consider in what manner the Libor setting mechanism should be regulated in the future."
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister in Parliament, Thursday: "I am determined we learn lessons from what happened at Barclays."
Vivek Raja, bank analyst at Oriel Securities, Thursday: "The fine works out as half a percent of [Barclays] tangible book value. It is really quite insignificant. It is not really going to change peoples thoughts on valuation."
Gary Greenwood, bank analyst at Shore Capital, Thursday: "I don't think the reputational damage is going to be that significant because the banks don't have strong reputations to damage."
-Write to Marietta Cauchi at email@example.com