Following Bob Diamond's resignation this morning - forced, according to the BBC, by an unholy alliance of the Bank of England's Mervyn King and the FSA's Lord Turner - Barclays is fighting back. It has produced this statement in advance of Diamond's meeting with the Treasury Select Committee.
The impression this statement gives is that Barclays feels it has been hung out to dry for manipulating a rate when they believed they were doing so under instruction from the Bank of England. And Barclays insists that other banks were submitting lower rates and that Barclays repeatedly complained to the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Bank of England, the FSA and the Federal Reserve about this to no avail. If it's true that Barclays warned regulators that other banks were manipulating their submissions and regulators ignored the warnings, it doesn't exactly show the regulators in a good light. That's bad enough.
But scroll down through the statement and the charts in the appendices, and right at the very end there is a file note recording the main points in a telephone conversation between Paul Tucker of the Bank of England and Bob Diamond at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Here it is in full:
It would appear that someone 'senior' in Whitehall didn't want Barclays out of line with other banks. Wonder who that was?
I'm not the only person who noticed this, by the way. Joseph Cotterill at FTAlphaville did too.