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Ex-Barclays banker Bob Diamond to launch new Africa banking business

Former Barclays banker Bob Diamond, who was ousted from his position after direct intervention from the Bank of England is set to return to the City through the launch of the Africa banking business.

The financier is attempting to raise around $250 million by floating a fund on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the next two weeks.

Mr Diamond will team up with Ashish Thakkar, the chief executive of Mara Group, a conglomerate with interests in 19 African nations.

The former Barclays boss recently met with senior officials in Nigeria, which has sparked speculation that he will be looking at one of the nation's troubled banks.

The new London-listed vehicle will be known as Atlas Mara, to reflect the combination of Mara Group and Mr Diamond's company Atlas Merchant Capital, which was set up in New York this year, as an old-style merchant bank.

Despite Mr Diamond reputation being damaged towards the end of his tenure at Barclays, he is credited with transforming the company's Barclays Capital investment banking arm.

By Claire Archer