The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Abigail Hofman: Bob Diamond was lost in translation

Bob Diamond’s appearance before the Treasury Select Committee was culture clash TV. But the MPs failed to score on the most important issue: the swash-buckling, high octane, risk-taking culture that Diamond created at Barclays Capital led to, indirectly, the Libor scandal and more

On July 4 that once-great American import into the UK, Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays, appeared before the UK’s House of Commons Treasury Select Committee for three hours. For me, Diamond’s appearance raised more questions than it answered about events at the bank. However, one thing is now clear: a parliamentary committee is the wrong forum to get to the bottom of what occurred, who was hurt and what to do about the banks. A ‘Libor Leveson’ is needed – an independent judicial investigation.

Bob Diamond’s testimony has been described as “implausible” and “obfuscating”. That may be, but Diamond came across as more likeable than the MPs who grilled him. “I’ve decided,” one mole grumbled, “that the only difference between bankers and MPs is that the bankers are paid more.”

Questions remain however. Why did Diamond resign on Tuesday morning, having insisted on Monday that he was staying? Diamond’s note of his conversation with Paul Tucker in October 2008 was ambiguous: “While he [Tucker] was certain that we did not need advice, it did not always need to be the case that we appeared as high [in our Libor submissions] as we have recently.”

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree