Robert Diamond, the architect of Barclays Plc’s investment banking expansion, stepped down as chief executive officer, succumbing to political pressure to go after the bank admitted to rigging global interest rates.

Diamond, 60, will step down with immediate effect, the London-based bank said in a statement today. Diamond became CEO of Barclays in Jan. 1, 2011 after joining the bank in 1996.

Marcus Agius, who said yesterday he would step down, will become full-time chairman and lead the search for a new CEO.

“I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth,” Diamond said in the statement.

He and Agius are the most senior bankers to be ousted so far following probes by global regulators into whether lenders colluded to manipulate the London interbank offered rate.

Barclays was hit by a record 290 million-pound ($455 million) fine last month for rigging the benchmark.

Source: Bloomberg