Bob Diamond backs Barclays' £6bn cash call

Bob Diamond, the former boss of Barclays, is to spend up to £6m backing the bank's £6bn cash call after acknowledging it has become a "better and stronger institution".

Forced out last year in the wake of the bank's £290m fine for rigging Libor, Diamond said on Friday that he intended to support the fund raising his successor Antony Jenkins has embarked on.

Jenkins has been forced to ask shareholders to raise the money to help plug a £12.8bn capital shortfall identified by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The bank is raising funds through a rights issue where existing shareholders are asked to buy one new share at 185p for every four they own.

Diamond, who was born in America but has British citizenship, owns 13.2m shares, which suggests that if he were to take up all his "rights" it would cost him just over £6m.

"I'm buying my rights, I'm bullish on Barclays … Barclays has become a better and stronger institution," Diamond said on CNBC television yesterday.

Jenkins was promoted from running the retail bank to replace Diamond, who left in July 2012, while City grandee Sir David Walker was named as chairman to replace Marcus Agius, who also left following the Libor scandal. The former chairman is on a £175,000-a-year consultancy fee with the bank.

Diamond made reference to the new boardroom directors installed after he left. "It's got good strong new leadership in Antony Jenkins and Sir David Walker," he said.

Since regulators in the UK and US fined Barclays for rigging Libor, four other financial firms have been penalised. Bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland was fined £390m, Swiss bank UBS £940m and this week Icap, the City firm run by the former Conservative party treasurer, Michael Spencer, was fined £55m.

Powered by article was written by Jill Treanor, for on Friday 27th September 2013 18.52 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © World Economic Forum

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