Panel lambastes Barclays and FSA

Aug. 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A parliamentary committee in Britain has called the need for stronger bank regulations an "urgent" matter in the wake of the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

"Urgent improvements, both to the way banks are run and the way they are regulated, is needed if public and market confidence is to be restored," said the Treasury Select Committee, which put the blame on the recent scandal on banks and regulators alike.

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday the committee called Barclays' attempts to manipulate a benchmark lending rate known as the Libor or London interbank offered rate "disgraceful."

A committee report also called the Bank of England "naive" but not responsible for the scandal. Instead, the committee blamed the regulatory failure on the Financial Services Authority, Britain's major bank regulator.

Former Barclays Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond, who resigned after it became public the bank settled a regulatory case against it for $450 million, gave "highly selective" evidence to regulators, the committee said.

The committee focused its report on the "great damage" the scandal had done to the reputation of the British banking industry as a whole.

Furthermore, "Senior management at Barclays were issuing instructions to manipulate artificially the bank's submissions. It is unlikely that Barclays was the only bank attempting this," said Conservative Member of Parliament Andrew Tyrie, the committee's chairman.

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