The controversial director who signed off a pounds sterling 18m pay package
for former Barclays boss Bob Diamond has become the fourth senior executive to
quit in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal.
Alison Carnwath, the non-executive director who heads up the remuneration committee, resigned yesterday citing "personal reasons."
The news emerged just hours before reports of a pounds sterling 8.75m payoff for former chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.
It also came as the European Commission proposed to make a criminal offence the fixing of Libor, which is used as a benchmark for mortgage rates and trillions of pounds of investment products.
Justice commissioner Viviane Reding said the move would help "put an end to criminal activity in the banking sector."
Carnwath's shock departure added to Barclays' leadership crisis, following the resignation of Diamond, his right-hand man Jerry del Missier, and chairman Marcus Agius -- who is now staying on to find a new chief executive. Insiders at the bank claimed Carnwath had taken the decision because of the increased workload following the Libor debacle, which resulted in a pounds sterling 290m fine for the bank.
This made it increasingly difficult for her to juggle her other roles as chairman of Land Securities and a director of troubled hedge fund Man Group.
But it is not clear whether her resignation was linked to the award for del Missier.
The serial director has also faced criticism from shareholders for signing off Diamond's lucrative pay deal, which also included pounds sterling 5.75m to pay his US tax bill. At the bank's fiery annual meeting in April, some 22.5pc failed to back her reinstatement to the board. Carnwath has become something of a lightning rod for criticism over excessive pay in the City during the so-called shareholder spring, with a third of Man Group investors also failing to back her re-appointment.
The continued turmoil at Barclays, following its involvement in a worldwide conspiracy to rig interest rates, comes amid calls from politicians in Brussels to make the manipulation of Libor a criminal offence.
Fifteen financial institutions including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and HSBC are being investigated in the UK, the US and Asia.
Justice commissioner Reding said it is proposing "EU-wide rules to tackle this kind of market abuse and close any loopholes." The setting of Libor is currently self-regulated by the banks.
Treasury sources welcomed the calls but said the problem was already being addressed in the Wheatley review launched by the Government this month.
They said "all options are on the table" including making Libor rigging illegal.
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