British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a parliamentary inquiry into the interest rate rigging scandal that has claimed the job of Barclays chairman Marcus Agius.

The announcement came hours after Mr Agius resigned over revelations that Barclays traders had lied about the interest rates other banks were charging it for loans.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office said it is considering whether it was "both appropriate and possible to bring criminal prosecutions" over the issue.

Mr Cameron said people "want to see bankers who acted improperly punished, and they want to know we will learn the broader lessons of what happened in this particular scandal".

"I want to establish a full parliamentary inquiry involving both houses, chaired by the chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee," he told parliament.

"This committee will be able to take evidence under oath," he added.

"It will have full access to papers, officials and ministers, including ministers and special advisers from the last government, and it will be given, by the government, all of the resources it needs to do its job properly."

Mr Cameron said Britain also needed to raise taxes on banks and introduce "the toughest and most transparent rules on pay and bonuses of any major financial centre in the world".

The inquiry would "be able to start immediately", he added. "It will get to the truth quickly so we can make sure this never happens again."

The manipulation of interest rates, which may turn out to implicate some other international banks, concerned the Libor and Euribor rates which play a key role on global markets, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow.

Yesterday it emerged that bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland had sacked four traders over their alleged involvement in the affair, raising suspicions that the practice may have been widespread.

Last week, Barclays was fined £290m by UK and US regulators for manipulating the Libor.

Following his resignation, Barclays said Mr Agius will remain in post until an "orderly succession is assured" and added non-executive director Michael Rake has been appointed Deputy Chairman.

Mr Agius added: "I am truly sorry that our customers, clients, employees and shareholders have been let down.

“Barclays is full of hard-working, talented individuals whose integrity is not in question."

His resignation comes after signs of shareholder moves to replace him from the role.

He is due to face MPs on the Treasury Select Committee on Thursday - a hearing that is expected to go ahead irrespective of his decision to quit.

Pressure remains on Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond, who will also face a grilling from the committee on Wednesday.

There were growing questions about how much he knew about what was going on after it emerged that Barclays staff mistakenly thought they had been instructed by the Bank of England to lie in their Libor submissions.