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Lord Mandelson attacks Bob Diamond

Lord Mandelson has this weekend launched a scathing attack on Bob Diamond, the president of Barclays bank, suggesting that he is "the unacceptable face of banking". The basis of the very personal and very high-profile attack is the fact that Lord Mandelson believes that Bob Diamond is on the verge of receiving a £63 million remuneration payment which relates to various shares and cash bonuses.

While Barclays bank has refuted the £63 million figure, much of which will take up to three years to clarify, there is no doubt that using a complex system of bonuses and share issues Bob Diamond is one of the highest-paid banking executives in the UK. However, this is a man who has a basic salary of £250,000 a year with additional payments all linked to the performance of Barclays bank and the investment arm of which his head.

Quite why Lord Mandelson has chosen such a very personal and a very high-profile attack at this time remains to be seen but it has certainly put the UK banking sector back under the spotlight. Even if the £63 million potential payment is incorrect the headlines have been made and Lord Mandelson has again managed to make the UK banking sector out to be the devil in disguise.

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