Barclays Plc chairman Marcus Agius quit on Monday, saying "the buck stops with me" after an interest rate rigging scandal that has dealt "a devastating blow" to the bank's reputation.
Agius, chairman of Britain's third biggest bank for 5-1/2 years, is the first major scalp from the scandal, which is likely to draw in more banks and could equally embarrass regulatory authorities.
But his resignation did not take the heat off chief executive Bob Diamond, who is also under pressure to go.
This is a big one, folks. Just how big we're only beginning to find out.
Lawmakers are likely to quiz Agius and Diamond on what the Bank of England (BoE) and other regulators knew about the rate-rigging.
Details in documents released by U.S. authorities last week could prove embarrassing to the BoE, after sources said a key conversation held in October 2008 cited in the documents was between Diamond and BoE Deputy Governor Paul Tucker.
Some people at Barclays mistakenly believed the bank had been granted permission to submit artificially low Libor estimates after that conversation, the documents released last week showed.
More than a dozen other banks are being investigated in the long-running global probe by authorities in North America, Europe and Japan, including Citigroup, HSBC, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland. Analysts and bankers expect more big fines.
So yes, everybody played the Libor table at Big Casino. Only now, five years after the fact, is anybody noticing. Awesome. Customers paid billions more than they should have to borrow money and have been since 2005. This scandal is pretty massive, considering trillions in derivatives depend on the Libor rate as well as -- you guessed it -- mortgage rates!
The British and US authorities said they had found evidence Barclays had attempted to manipulate a key borrowing rate for years, meaning that home owners could have paid millions more in mortgage payments than they might otherwise have had to.
And boom went the housing market and our economy. Just another fraud scam perpetrated by the banks, and the banks are most likely going to walk. Certainly nobody in the US is going to do anything with an election contest brewing and the EU is in financial chaos.
This one is going to get a lot, lot worse before it gets better. And as I mentioned earlier this morning, the scandal has now claimed CEO Bob Diamond too. In addition, COO Jerry del Missier is also out. Something of a triple play here, and more banks are going to have issues with this. Look for more resignations, and soon.