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Business Comment

Don't expect pay restraint by Barclays new-boy Crawford Gillies


Outlook One thing that never seems to get cut is bankers' bonuses. Take Barclays, where they were boosted by 10 per cent despite falling profits.

Shareholders are understandably a little miffed about this, given that it's their money that's being paid out, so revolt is in the air as the AGM looms. Hence yesterday's appointment of Crawford Gillies to succeed Sir John Sunderland as chairman of the bank's pay committee.

Sir John, you may remember, told the Treasury Select Committee that even with the benefit of hindsight he would still have handed former chief executive Bob Diamond a bonus for 2011. That was a year in which Mr Diamond used the word "unacceptable" to describe Barclays' performance.

Sir John spoke to MPs as if they were errant schoolchildren when they called him in to explain himself.

Mr Gillies's first job upon taking over as chairman of Sir John's committee may be to smooth some of the feathers he ruffled. But will he actually change anything? That's rather doubtful.

He is a former management consultant with Bain & Co who has had various senior jobs and directorships since leaving.

Mr Gillies may utter honeyed words to keep shareholders onside, but don't expect to see much restraint when it comes to those "role-based allowances" that have been developed by Barclays to get around the EU's bonus cap and which have got senior bankers purring.

It was only a year ago that chief executive Antony Jenkins was promising to "shred" Mr Diamond's legacy and build a socially useful bank. There's clearly been a paper jam.