Libor-fixing Barclays gets new chairman

Barclays, recently brought low after the Libor-fixing scandal was brought to light, announced that Sir David Walker has been appointed new chairman of the banking group from November of this yar.

Sir David inherits the role from the discgraced Marcus Agius, who stepped down after the personal and business loans provider was found to have been playing dirty pool with the interbank lending rate, leading to a fine of £290 million being levied against the banking giant. However, with Sir David’s sterling reputation as an experienced and respected banker, Barclays has high hopes that customers will give the disgraced bank a second chance.

The new chairman served with distinction as both assistant secretary to the Treasury and the Bank of England’s executive director for finance and industry from the 1970s to the 1990s. More recently, Sir David spearheaded an independent corporate governance review of the banking industry in the UK, leading to the recommendation that top earners at British banks should have their pay and bonuses published.

While the announcement is good news, Barclays still stands without a chief executive, as Bob Diamond also high-tailed it from the office after the Libor scandal broke. However, interbank borrowing rates need to be reformed, according to Sir Mervy King, the Bank of England’s Governor, who stated that Libor hasn’t been working properly since the credit crisis.

The Head of Financial Conduct for the Financial Services Authority, Martin Wheatley, is leading a review into the interbank rate on behalf of the Treasury. Rumour has it that engaging in Libor-rigging could be criminalised based on the findings of Mr Wheatley’s review.

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