Barings Executives Resign In Wake of Collapse
LONDON (AP) _ Two executives who were in charge when Barings PLC went bust have resigned, it was announced today.
Peter Baring, a member of the founding family of the bank, was chairman and Andrew Tuckey was deputy chairman of Barings when it was ruined in late February by the futures dealings of Singapore-based trader Nick Leeson.
The new owner of Barings, ING Group of the Netherlands, has said nobody would be fired until official inquiries into the Barings collapse are completed. ING, a banking and insurance conglomerate, said today it accepted the resignations of Baring and Tuckey with regret.
``They have made their decision on the basis of honor and principle,″ said Hessel Lindenbergh, the ING executive who now runs Barings. ING paid 660 million British pounds, or $1.06 billion, last month to cover the losses at Barings and to recapitalize the bank.
Baring and Tuckey resigned both from Barings and as members of management committees that ING has set up to run the business temporarily. Tuckey will stay on as a senior adviser to Barings’ corporate finance business, where he worked for many years.
``Although our resignations have been available to ING as a matter of principle for some time, nonetheless it has been right for us, thus far, to share in the task of restoring the stability of the Barings group,″ Baring and Tuckey said in a statement.
``With ING now established as the new owners of Barings and with the individual businesses in the group returning to normal, ING and we have agreed that the time has come for us to resign,″ they said.
Although Barings initially told the Bank of England that it ran into trouble when Leeson made hundreds of millions in unauthorized wagers that Japanese stock prices would fall, it has since been widely reported that Barings executives at the home office in London sent him more and more money for these bets.
This has raised questions about how blame would be apportioned when investigators finish looking into the spectacular fall of Barings, Britain’s oldest investment bank, which counts Queen Elizabeth II among its clients.
Leeson is in jail in Germany and fighting extradition to Singapore.