© Stefan Wermuth/ReutersBob Diamond: no fan of jerks
Bob Diamond says he has kicked out 30 staff for breaking his new ethics rule and warns 'no one should ever not be nice'

The Barclays chief executive has imposed a "no jerks" rule at the bank.

Bob Diamond said "jerk" bankers were epitomised by an infamous 2002 episode in which six Barclays staff ran up a £44,000 alcohol tab over lunch at a London restaurant.

"Everyone gets stressed from time to time but no one should ever not be nice. You know what a jerk is when you see it," he said.

In an interview with the Times, Diamond said the rule applied to bankers considered to be prima donnas, too greedy, too ostentatious or poor team players. He said he had already kicked out 30 staff for breaking his new ethics rule.

"If someone can't behave with their colleagues and can't be part of the culture, it doesn't matter how good they are at what they do, they have to be asked to leave," he said.

Referring to the incident in 2002 at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant Petrus, Diamond said: "That was embarrasing. It was taking advantage - we have a responsibility to our colleagues to have acted that way in a public place was inexcusable."

The bankers consumed some of the most expensive wine available to London diners: a 1982 Montrachet priced at £1,400 and three bottles of Petrus Pomerol. A 1945 bottle of Petrus cost £11,600, a 1946 bottle £9,400 and a 1947 bottle £12,300. There was also a dessert wine costing £9,200. The restaurant threw in the food for free.

Diamond, 60, who has dual British-American nationality, landed the top job at Barclays a year ago. He has been criticised himself for his lavish pay, earning £6.75m last year.