Libor row intensifies as MPs to question Diamond
Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker may be asked to give his version of events to British MPs over a telephone call with ousted Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond as the Libor row intensifies.
George Mudie and Andy Love, opposition Labour Party members of the Treasury Committee who will question Mr Diamond in Parliament today, said Mr Tucker should also testify. His name was drawn into the fray after the lender released a note of a 2008 call purporting to show that Mr Tucker, the central bank's markets director at the time, hinted the firm could cut its Libor rates.
Mr Diamond, Marcus Agius and Jerry Del Missier resigned as Barclays's top officials after regulators fined the bank a record 290 million pounds for attempting to rig the London interbank offered rate for profit.
An October 30th, 2008, e-mail from Mr Diamond, then the Barclays investment-banking chief, to John Varley, chief executive officer at the time, reads that "Tucker stated that the levels of calls he was receiving from Whitehall were 'senior' and that while he was certain we did not need advice, that it did not always need to be the case that we appeared as high as we have recently."
"Barclays have a vested interest in throwing up a smokescreen and it is no surprise to me that allegations have surfaced from Barclays that they were given a nod by Bank of England officials," Conservative lawmaker David Ruffley said.
"Let us see if Mr. Diamond is going to put his money where his mouth is. Is he going to be asked about it? Of course he is."
Mr Ruffley, a former adviser at the British Treasury, added that if Mr Diamond repeats the allegation today, Mr Tucker would have to be asked to testify on the matter.
Mr Tucker "will want to be called before the committee", Mr Mudie said in an interview. "He is a clear candidate for the governorship of the Bank of England and he won't want this hanging over him."
Mr Love, who said the committee will want to speak to Tucker "in particular" as well as other Bank of England officials "to hear their side of the story," also called for transcripts of the phone conversation to be published.
A Bank of England spokesman declined to comment.