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Does Bob Diamond's promotion mean the banks have won?

Today's revelation that Bob Diamond, the head of investment banking at Barclays Bank, will take over as chief executive of the overall group next year has raised a few eyebrows in the city. It seems almost inevitable that the much heralded breakup of the UK banking industry, separating investment banking from retail banking operations, will fall flat on its face if Bob Diamond is moving over to take over the overall group.

Yet again it would appear that the UK government has fallen short of a number of objectives to control the banking industry and reduce the risks which many banking companies, especially investment banking operations, appear more than willing to take. While Bob Diamond is somebody who has attracted criticism from the likes of Peter Mandelson and Vince Cable he is also a man who has done very well for himself and Barclays Investment Banking operation.

He is rumoured to be worth reaching £95 million with suggestions he is in line for a £1.3 million salary as chief executive and bonuses and pension arrangements which could top £3 million. So whichever way you look at it there is an apparent inevitability that the proposed breakup of the UK banking industry will fail.

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