WATERVILLE – The banker at the center of an international interest rate-fixing scandal originating in Great Britain is the chairman of Colby College’s board of trustees.

Robert Diamond Jr., a Massachusetts native who graduated from Colby in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, has been generous to his alma mater, pledging more than $14 million to the college since 2003 through a private family foundation.

The foundation reported having more than $3.3 million invested in Barclays stock in 2010.

The college is sticking by Diamond, former CEO of the British bank Barclays, who has been called one of the world’s richest bankers. A prominent building is named after him.

Diamond resigned from Barclays, Britain’s second-largest bank, on July 3 under pressure. News reports said he had lost regulators’ confidence.

“It’s disappointing to find out that there may have been wrongdoing,” said Waterville Mayor Karen Heck, a 1974 Colby graduate. “At the same time, there’s no denying that his support has been critical to allowing thousands of students an education at a fine college here in Maine.”

The Economist said “damning evidence” has emerged that employees of Barclays and other banks rigged the London interbank offered rate — known as LIBOR — the average interest rate that London’s leading banks estimate they would be charged if they had to borrow from other banks.

The magazine said the bank has paid hundreds of millions in fines to American and British regulators, who said the bank’s staff tried to manipulate LIBOR for profit “and to quell concerns about its own creditworthiness.”

Colby is “mindful” of Diamond’s situation, but “nothing that’s emerged from these stories has changed Bob’s relationship with the college,” said Colby spokesman Michael Kiser. “He’s long, long been a valuable supporter and a great leader for the board of trustees.”

Colby spokeswoman Ruth Jacobs has said that Diamond got former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to be the college’s 2012 commencement speaker because he knows him personally.

When Colby got big donations from Diamond in 2003 and 2008, it put out releases detailing the amounts and purposes: $6 million toward construction of a $12 million building named for Diamond to house social science departments and $4 million to “support interdisciplinary study of the environment, energy policy, climate change and sustainability.”

Kiser said it wouldn’t be possible to reach Diamond for comment through Colby.

IRS records from 2008, 2009 and 2011 for the Robert and Jennifer Diamond Family Foundation reveal more information about donations to Colby.

A 2011 form shows that the foundation gave Colby $2.5 million to sponsor a Diamond chair in sustainable energy. It gave $1.5 million to sponsor a Diamond fellowship in environmental studies. Both gifts were pledged in 2010, to be paid over seven years.

A 2009 form showed the foundation pledged $100,000 to the school’s alumni fund in 2006. It was set to be paid over five years.

Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius, who is resigning, has said Diamond had “no personal culpability” in the scandal.

British media have painted a complex picture of the banker, who joined Barclays in 1996 and was on its executive committee starting in 1997. He became CEO at the start of 2011.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that he agreed to forgo a possible $31 million bonus after quitting the company but will receive $3.1 million in severance and pension — twice what his contract provided.

Reuters reported this week that he has likely earned at least $186 million since 2005 and more than $26 million last year.

Diamond contributed $2,500 in December to U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s aborted 2012 re-election campaign, according to OpenSecrets.com, an online clearinghouse for information on political contributions.

His son Charles Diamond, in Colby’s class of 2012, volunteered for Snowe in January.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:

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