First shareholder group breaks ranks

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Boris Johnson and Barclays chairman Marcus Agius pictured at the launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme
Boris Johnson and Barclays chairman Marcus Agius pictured at the launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme Credit: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment

The Local Association of Pension Funds Forum, who represent a group of Barclays shareholders have just issued a very tough statement on the bank. They suggest that Marcus Agius, the chair of the bank's position may no longer be 'tenable'.

And they suggest that because Bob Diamond was the boss of the the part of Barclays where rate rigging was going on, he should either return his bonuses or 'face legal proceedings'.

The group is calling for a clear statement from the Chairman regarding the action to be taken by the bank and what measures have already been taken to address the situation:

  • Take measures to claw-back the bonuses paid to Bob Diamond, and other Barclays directors since 2005, which is when the problem started. As the individual in charge of BarCAP, it is LAPFF’s view that either Mr Diamond was aware of what was going on, in which case he is culpably responsible, or he did not know, in which case he was culpably responsible for poor supervision, inadequate compliance systems and a deficient culture.
  • If Mr Diamond does not return his bonuses voluntarily, then the board should act in the same way as the board of Lloyds, and take legal proceedings. The board should not shy away from examining the case for criminal prosecutions.'
Bob Diamond Credit: Nick Potts/PA

They are a relatively small group, but this is the first sign of shareholders beginning to break rank. Privately others have told me the action the bank has taken so far is not enough. These statements could be the start of something.