bank former Chief Executive Bob Diamond arrives at Portcullis House to attend a Treasury select committee hearing in July 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays who left the bank in the aftermath of the Libor fixing scandal, is to return to banking.
According to unnamed sources cited by Reuters, Diamond will list a shell company in London, Atlas Mara, within 10-15 days to invest in the African financial sector.
Sources add that Atlas Mara is a cash vehicle set up with billionaire entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, chief executive of Mara Group.
While Citigroup is tipped to be advising on the deal, Atlas Merchant Capital, the merchant bank Diamond has set up in New York, will manage the group with a view to expand into sub-Saharah African banks and financial services.
The Financial Times said at the weekend that Diamond and Thakkar have approached investors with the aim of raising $250m (£153m, €183m).
In June 2012, Barclays paid US and UK authorities £290m for its role in manipulating Libor.
The bank then lost a number of its high-profile senior bankers, including Diamond, chairman Mark Agius and chief operating officer Jerry Del Missier.
Barclays avoided a €690m fine from the European Commission for blowing the whistle on a Libor-fixing cartel with three other major banks, less than a week ago.
Meanwhile, Diamond could be in court in April, after Guardian Care Homes (GCH) asked the former Barclays CEO to give evidence regarding Libor fixing, since it is suing his former employer for mis-selling an interest rate hedging product tied to the benchmark lending rate.
The complainant, GCH, is suing Barclays for £70m, claiming that it was mis-sold Interest Rate Swap Agreements (IRSAs).
A judge ruled that allegations of Libor fixing, for which Barclays paid vast fines to global regulators, could be included as part of GCH's case. It was not part of GCH's initial mis-selling claim.
GCH said it wished to call several former Barclays executives as witnesses in the trial which is due to start in April, reported Reuters.
Barclays lost its appeal to adjourn the trial. The banking giant refutes the GCH claims, adding that the firm had its own financial advisers.
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