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Originally published Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 1:08 AM

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Barclays suffers stock fallout after massive fines

A day after it was slapped with fines worth over $450 million, British bank Barclays PLC suffered another hit Thursday as its share price tanked.

Associated Press

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A day after it was slapped with fines worth over $450 million, British bank Barclays PLC suffered another hit Thursday as its share price tanked.

Other British banks, such as Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, were under pressure too after regulators on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed that other traders were involved in the manipulation of key interest rates that are used in everyday transactions such as buying a house.

"Banks were clearly acting in concert," said Andrew Tyrie, a British lawmaker, whose is also chairman of the influential Treasury Committee in the House of Commons. "I fear it's not going to be the end of the story, that we are going to find that other banks have been involved."

Tyrie said his committee would summon Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond to explain what happened at the bank.

Though Diamond has decided to waive his 2012 bonus in the wake of the $453 million fines, he's facing calls to do more.

Prime Minister David Cameron, when asked whether Diamond should resign, said he thinks "the whole management team have got some serious questions to answer. Let them answer those questions first."

The fallout from the fines was clearly hitting Barclays' share price, which was trading 5.9 percent lower at 185 pence. That means the company is worth nearly 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) less than at the close of business on Wednesday.

Its peers HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland were all down around 2 percent amid concerns they would be dragged into the scandal too.

On Wednesday, U.S and British regulators imposed the fines on Barclays for providing false figures on borrowing rates between 2005 and 2009. Those false figures manipulated the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) to Barclays' advantage.

The LIBOR is an average rate set by banks each morning that measures how much they're going to charge each other for loans. That rate, in turn, affects rates on many loans for consumers and businesses.

The U.S. Justice Department said Barclays would not face criminal prosecution, subject to certain conditions, but individual employees or officers could be prosecuted.

In response, Diamond waived any bonus for this year, as did finance director Chris Lucas, chief operating officer Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci, the chief executive of corporate and investment banking.

Diamond said the decision reflected "our collective responsibility as leaders."

Martin Taylor, who was CEO of Barclays between 1995 and 1998, said the bank's board will have to make a decision whether Diamond can carry on in his post.

Though Taylor does not believe Diamond ordered anyone to fiddle the rates, and thinks Diamond should stay if he can "help clean out the stables," he told BBC radio that only the board can make that judgment.

The traders involved in the manipulations worked in Barclays Capital, the investment bank which Diamond headed between 2005 and 2009.

Former Barclays chief Taylor said he was confident that Diamond hadn't sanctioned the misbehavior in the unit, but added that the company's culture might have been a factor behind the misdemeanors.

"Bob runs an extraordinarily competitive and aggressive ship, and that is one reason why Barclays Capital has been very successful in the first decade of the century," Taylor said.

"And I think that when people are pushed to go to the limit, you know what traders are like, they sometimes go beyond it. They don't need to have an instruction from headquarters to go beyond it, they think it is what the bank might expect, perhaps."

"Somebody at senior level somewhere will certainly have known. I can't believe that Barclays haven't identified who that is," Taylor added.

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