Barclays Bank staff lobby Parliament

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The Independent Online
More than 100 employees of Barclays Bank yesterday conducted a mass lobby of Parliament in an effort to raise awareness of what has become the longest-running industrial dispute in banking history.

The unions representing Barclays employees, Unifi and Bifu, said 79 MPs had signed up to a House of Commons early day motion criticising the suitability of Martin Taylor, the bank's chief executive, to head up the Government's review of tax and benefits announced on Tuesday.

Mr Taylor, who was paid pounds 852,000 last year after a pay rise of 13 per cent, is believed to be in line for a place on the court of the Bank of England when four directors retire next February. He is known to have at least 350,000 options which, on current valuations, will be worth approximately pounds 3m when they become exercisable next year.

More than 25,000 Barclays employees have been told their pensionable pay will be frozen unless they meet performance targets which will give them a 2.5 per cent bonus instead of a pay rise. The Christmas bonus of 2.5 per cent has been taken away. Clerks at the bank earn an average of pounds 15,000.

Profits at Barclays bank are this year forecast to rise to pounds 3bn from pounds 2.35bn.

Barclays staff focused their lobbying efforts on Nicholas Brown MP, the Government chief whip, George Howarth, a minister at the Home Office and Jane Kennedy, an assistant Government whip.

Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid