London - Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond quit with immediate effect on Tuesday over an
interest rate-rigging scandal, becoming the highest-profile victim so far in a
probe that spans a dozen major banks across the world.
Britain’s third-largest bank said that outgoing chairperson
Marcus Agius - who himself announced his departure a day earlier - would lead
the search for a new executive.
“The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a
level that risks damaging the franchise - I cannot let that happen,” Diamond
said in a statement.
Agius announced his resignation on Monday in the scandal
over traders manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is
used worldwide as a benchmark for prices on about $350 trillion of financial
But Agius said he would stay in office as long as the search
for a new chairperson continues.
Barclays was fined $453m by US and British authorities,
becoming the first bank to settle in an investigation that is looking at more
than a dozen others, including Citigroup, UBS and RBS.