New Barclays boss Antony Jenkins has insisted the bank remains "strong and well-positioned" despite a torrent of reputation-scarring scandals and a £47 million quarterly loss.
Delivering his first set of results today since taking over from Bob Diamond in the wake of the Libor-fixing affair, Mr Jenkins accepted the lender had "much to do to restore trust among stakeholders."
The chairman of Barclays Bank Marcus Agius was tonight reported to be on the brink of stepping down as the row intensified over the Libor rate-fixing scandal, according to reports. The bank declined to comment on the suggestions.
The development came as Business Secretary Vince Cable backed calls for a criminal investigation into bankers involved in the affair.
The Royal Bank of Scotland did sack around 10 traders but it is thought to have happened last year, so the sacking is not a response to latest allegations. I understand that RBS actually sacked 4 traders for Libor-fixing, although up to 10 traders are mentioned in court papers.
Former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir George Matthewson told the BBC today that the sacking of four RBS traders was the "correct response" but that it also raised many questions. Mr Matthewson said:
What I am unable to understand is that whether this was done for personal profit of the individuals. There is an impression that they are trying to increase the value of the bank through lowering the interest rate.
For that to have been true, it would have required complicity of [those] higher up in the bank, I find that difficult to believe. I do feel that this problems goes across many banks.
I don't believe that Barclays would stand by and retain employees who participated in fraudulent and near-fraudulent activities.
Today's Observer newspaper said that in a 28-page statement of facts relating to the case, the US Department of Justice disclosed how a network of trader working on both sides of the Atlantic conspired to influence the interbank lending rate.
The document reportedly states that the collusion between traders across a range of banks, including Barclays, took place from at least August 2005 through to at least May 2008.
It said that the interbank communications included ones in which certain Barclays swaps traders communicated with former Barclays swap traders who had left the bank and joined other financial institutions.
Royal Bank of Scotland sacked four of its traders at the end of last year over their alleged role in the Libor-fixing scandal, sources said. Two of the traders were removed from their posts in October and a third the following month. RBS has not commented on the sackings.
The revelation comes after the bank confirmed it is being investigated for manipulating the rates at which banks lend to each other.