Barclays’ Bob Diamond resigns

<p>Before the UK market opened on Tuesday, Barclays announced that its CEO Bob Diamond had resigned with immediate effect. In a board statement, the bank […]</p>

Before the UK market opened on Tuesday, Barclays announced that its CEO Bob Diamond had resigned with immediate effect.

In a board statement, the bank confirmed that Marcus Agius, who had tendered his resignation just 24-hours earlier, was to become full time Chairman and will lead the search for a new Chief Executive.

The resignation of Diamond ends days of constant press speculation and public antipathy towards the security of his position in the midst of the libor manipulation scandal that has engulfed Barclays and threatens to engulf the banking sector itself, which awaits further announcements from the FSA’s other investigations.

Diamond said: “The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise – I cannot let that happen. I look forward to fulfilling my obligation to contribute to the Treasury Committee’s enquiries related to the settlements that Barclays announced last week without my leadership in question.”

The stage is now of course set perfectly for a somewhat uninhibited line of questioning and answering at tomorrow’s Treasury Committee, where Diamond has been called by MP’s to answer difficult questions surrounding the libor scandal and the conversations the bank had with Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England regarding the libor setting.

Barclays shares rose 0.5% as investors digested the news.

Broader markets sees more gains as FTSE 100 rallies 17pts
Broader European markets saw more gains on Tuesday thanks in part to gains in Commodity stocks with both Crude oil and Copper both seeing higher prices. The FTSE 350 mining sector rallied over 1% within the first hour of trading, and this was closely followed by gains in oil firms too.

From an economic data perspective, there is a lack of significant data out of Europe today and so attention switches to the afternoon session where US Factory Orders for May is released and is expected to fall 0.6%.

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