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Friday, September 30, 2016

(Bloomberg) — If Barclays Plc would lie about its borrowing costs, what else would it lie about?

That question gets to the heart of the damage Barclays did to itself by submitting false numbers for years to the British Bankers’ Association as part of the surveys used to set the London interbank offered rate, the benchmark for $360 trillion of financial instruments globally. The most important asset any bank has is trust — especially when it comes to the figures on its own financial statements. Whatever credibility Barclays had, it’s been poured down the drain like last night’s suds.

Andrea Leadsom, a member of the U.K. parliamentary committee that grilled former Barclays Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond at a hearing two days ago, framed the issue well when she asked Diamond: “In light of the fact that your audit failed to notice for several years that there was fraud and corruption going on under your noses and very openly, have you now looked at other areas of the bank to see whether something like that has been going on there for years, too?”

Diamond, who resigned July 3, replied: “Of course.” His terse response came off as less than credible. Later he said: “The way to do that is to start by going through our processes and our controls and our audit reports. And if someone wasn’t happy with those and made suggestions that there were other places to look, of course we would do it.” So, perhaps Barclays made such an inquiry. Or maybe it would, if someone became unhappy. It’s hard to tell.

  • Hey American government and politicians are you reading and getting this ?? These countries are making the criminals pay!! Unlike America where you pay a fine and admit to no guilt, or taxpayers get the lovely job of bailing you out while you admit to no guilt, or AG pocketing the money they received off the homeowners who deserve it back, while you give them a bread crumb. How about giving our country justice ? How about taking a stand for us?
    These countries should be proud they have people who care.

  • Kansan

    We do have people who care in the U.S.

    The problem is that most of them who can understand the magnitude and details of the chronic and prodigious theft aren’t in government, or if they are, they’re just waiting until someone finds out what their sell out price is.

    • DurdyDawg

      That’s pretty harsh kansan, but too true.

  • howa4x

    We have to stop fining people and throw them in jail as common theives. Criminality is rampant in these big institutions, and these people must be brought to justice. When Spitzer was AG in NY and jailed all the junk bond theives the practice stopped. White collar criminals ruin more lives than street crime does but one goes to jail and the other home to a country club. As our computers move faster so will the money from country to country. We spend too much time and money looking fror terrorists when we have hundreds on Wall st.

    Let’s start treating them that way. The collaspe of the too big to fail banks did more harm and caused more damage than bin Ladin ever dreamed of.

  • They still wont reckon anything. They have been doing this for years. Look at all the banks and investment companies that are receiveing big fines now, they admit to no wrong doing and keep on doing business in the same way. They just hope they don’t get caught the next time.