Ex-Barclays chief Bob Diamond moves into Greek bank sector

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Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond is teaming up with the ex-chief executive of Greek bank Piraeus to acquire the Athens-based consumer finance arm of France’s Crédit Agricole.

The deal gives Mr Diamond a relatively small vehicle with a banking licence in Greece that will allow him to acquire – through his investment company Atlas Merchant Capital – some of the vast pile of bad debts that the country’s banks are expected to sell in the next few years.

The former Barclays chief is teaming up with Anthimos Thomopoulos, who was ousted as chief executive of Piraeus a year ago and will become chief executive of Credicom, the Greek consumer finance arm of Crédit Agricole.

The deal completes the French bank’s exit from Greece, most of which was already achieved during the country’s 2012 debt crisis when it sold Emporiki, the bank it bought six years earlier for €2.2bn, for only €1.

Credicom is being acquired by Atlas Merchant Capital, the New York-based investment vehicle that Mr Diamond established after he was ousted from Barclays over the Libor interest rate rigging scandal in 2012.

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