Mixed response to Diamond departure

Ed MilibandBob Diamond's decision to step down as chief executive of Barclays has drawn a mixed reaction from politicians, investors and City commentators.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said of Mr Diamond's move: "This was the right decision on his part. People will now want us to get on with the inquiry and take further action fast to ensure that people and businesses are protected."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "This was necessary and right. It was clear Bob Diamond was not the man to lead the change that Barclays needed. But this is about more than one man - this is about the culture and practices of the entire banking system, which is why we need an independent, open, judge-led public inquiry."

Mark Field, Conservative MP for Cities of London and Westminster, told Sky News it was a "sensible and pragmatic" decision for Mr Diamond to step down. He said: "The real risk was that he would continue to be the story and this was likely to run and run for some considerable time. It's important to state that this is not just affecting Barclays."

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "The revolving doors at Barclays are working overtime."

He went on: "Discussions at the Treasury Select Committee should throw some light on the internal turmoil at the bank, while it remains to be seen whether Barclays will eventually end up with some credit in being the first to hold its hand up over the Libor investigations."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said Mr Diamond's resignation was the "right decision".

He told BBC Breakfast: "Of course this doesn't mean that there aren't still very, very serious questions to be answered by the bank and indeed by Mr Diamond before the Treasury Committee tomorrow, and it is very important that those questions are answered and that lessons are learned, as well of course as the Serious Fraud Office's consideration of whether prosecutions are possible in this issue. Of course, I think the bank has decided to do the right thing, the necessary thing, but there are many more questions to answer."

Move Your Money UK, which campaigns for people to move their money out of the high street banks and into mutuals such as building societies, credit unions and The Co-operative Bank, welcomed the announcement.

Spokesman Louis Brooke said: "It's only right that Bob Diamond has resigned. However, a couple of fat cats falling on their swords must not distract us from the urgent task at hand of reforming our banking system. And any talk of a golden handshake for Diamond should be completely out of the question. Rewarding failure can no longer be tolerated."

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