The first answer that comes to mind is emphatic: yes. His position proves that. Hence it is worthwhile to reflect on his opinions in the recent Telegraph. As it was reported: "Bob Diamond, the new chief executive of Barclays Bank, has turned on critics of "casino banking" saying that the use of the term "has no basis in reality. [...] [Investment banks] aren't casino businesses. These are real, client-driven businesses. We are providing services to corporate clients, to fund managers, to retail clients through branch banking and high net-worth banking."
Over a year ago the author of this blog observed in his article "Investment banking perverse casino model": "[...] the modern investment banking business is operated like a casino whose owner lends tokens to punters at a very high interest rate. However the punters’ loans and interest become only payable to a casino owner out of their winnings.
No sane casino owner would have ever accepted such a self defeating business model. Yet the banks are such casinos. Banks’ stakeholders (shareholders and depositors) are such casino owners. And bankers are the punters."
Casinos are also "client-driven businesses" providing services. Albanian pyramids as well as a Madoff's pyramid were also such businesses. In fact similarly to Albanian pyramids' and a Madoff pyramid's clients many direct (and indirect, like the whole economy) clients of investment banks went bust. As shown in the "The largest heist in history" the entire financial system was turned into a giant global pyramid.
The crux of the matter is that casinos and pyramids do not create any tangible value but are mechanisms of wealth redistribution heavily biased (i.e. giving the disproportionally large proceeds) to those who control them. That is why gambling, which additionally due to its addictive character is considered by many as vice, although legally accepted in many countries is generally heavily regulated. Financial pyramids, which proved lethal to economies on very many occasions throughout history, are banned altogether in the civilised parts of the world.
An unbelievably professionally shallow character of Bob Diamond's comments (e.g. "[Investment banks] aren't casino businesses. These are real, client-driven businesses.") seems to suggest that he does not really understand the fundamentals of banking (in particular the mechanism of money multiplication). And as a PR exercise these comments were insulting to any half-intelligent taxpayer who has to pay, by higher taxes and cuts in public spending, through his (or her) nose for the costs of the crisis caused by the banks' engineered crude financial pyramid. However it is reasonable to assume that Mr Diamond is representative (or rather above the average) of top financial executives. No wonder then we are in such a massive financial and economic mess now, listening to unreasonable and actually irrational excuses type-"it is global, no one could have predicted that". However, thanks to no more competent politicians, thus far the financial establishment is successful preserving the perverted nature of the financial industry.