British lawmakers launched a furious, multipronged barrage of questions Wednesday at Bob Diamond, who resigned as the head of Barclays a day earlier, but Diamond steadfastly defended himself and the bank.
Diamond refused to be drawn into whether he would give up millions of dollars' worth of bonuses, and he insisted the scandal that forced him to quit was due to a small number of "reprehensible" traders at Barclays.
The banker said he became "physically ill" when he found out about the scandal -- something he said he learned only last month.
"The behavior was wrong. It's been eradicated. It's been dealt with," he insisted.
Diamond stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Barclays amid the scandal that also claimed two other executives at the bank this week.
He insisted Wednesday at a parliamentary hearing that history would judge the bank as "an incredible institution."
But lawmaker Andrea Leadsom, herself a former Barclays banker, accused Diamond of living in a parallel universe, saying the culture of Barclays was the problem, not the solution.
And Teresa Pearce, another member of the Treasury Select Committee, attacked his line of defense.
"You just keep saying, 'I didn't know, I didn't know,' " about wrongdoing at his bank, she said.
She pressed him on an infamous comment he made to lawmakers last year to the effect that it was time for bankers to stop apologizing for their actions.