Bob Diamond: ‘Banks need to stop apologizing’

12 January 2011

The big banks need to stop apologizing for mistakes which led to the global financial crisis, the Barclays chief executive officer (CEO) has claimed.

Bob Diamond, who took over the role of CEO at the bank at the start of the year, made the comments during an interview with a Treasury Select Committee and claimed that blame for the crisis should stop being levelled at bankers.

The banking chief told the meeting: “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over. We need our banks willing to take risks ... so we can create jobs.”

Mr Diamond said that major institutions should be allowed to fail and that responsibility for keeping the struggling banks afloat should not lie with the British taxpayer.

However, he did not confirm the size of the bonus pool Barclays would be distributing or whether he himself would pass the opportunity of accepting an additional pay out for a third consecutive year.

The questioning by the parliamentary committee follows calls from politicians for banks to show restraint when unveiling bonus packages.

Nick Clegg, the UK coalition’s deputy leader, urged financial institutions to show ‘sensitivity’ when agreeing on the size of the payments.

By Jim Ottewill

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