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Agius to face MPs' questions on Libor scandal

The former Barclays chairman is the third high-profile witness to give evidence

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Outgoing Barclays chairman Marcus Agius is to face a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday into the rate rigging scandal that has engulfed the bank and led to Agius’s resignation last week.

Agius faces questions from MPs about what he knew about the Libor-fixing scandal that also threatens a dozen more international banks.

Barclays was hit with a fine for £290 million for its part in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, the interest rate that underpins financial transactions worth hundreds of trillions of dollars.

Agius was the first top Barclays executive to quit when the extent of the scandal emerged this month, but his exit was not enough to protect Barclays former chief executive Bob Diamond, who was forced out last week. Agius will now remain at the bank while a successor to Diamond is found.

Libor is set by the British Bankers Association where Agius was also chairman until he resigned for his position last week.

Agius, 65, will be the third high-profile witness to give evidence on the rate-rigging scandal to the Commons Treasury select committee within a matter of days (10:00 a.m. British time).

When he resigned last week he acknowledged that the scandal had dealt a “devastating blow” to Barclays' reputation.

Diamond last week admitted Barclays' traders had behaved reprehensibly in rigging interest rates, while on Monday, Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker denied he had been pressured by government ministers to encouraged banks to manipulate rates.

The suggestion that government ministers and officials were somehow involved has turned the affair into a political dogfight, with chancellor George Osborne saying people around the previous prime minister, Gordon Brown, had questions to answer. The accusation has been denied by Brown's adviser, Ed Balls, who demanded an apology from Osborne.


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