Bob Diamond, the new boss of Barclays, has told MPs that banks should stop apologising for their mistakes during the financial crisis.
In the heated exchange with the Treasury Select Committee, the US-born banker - who is one of Britain's highest paid executives - defended the universal banking model. During questioning he adopted a defiant tone, saying banks need to take responsibility for bad management and should be allowed to fail.
"No bank should be a burden on the taxpayer - we have to make the system safer," he said.
"There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over. We need our banks willing to take risks ... so we can create jobs."
Diamond earned £21 million in 2007 but has waived his bonus for the last two years.
When the 12 parliamentarians from the Committee asked whether he would forgo his own bonus, Diamond responded by telling them he would decide "with his family" whether he would accept.
Regarding his employees, he said that Barclays had "no intention of paying more in bonuses than is necessary."