Barclays' Barrett banks £5m in pay and perks

Consumer anger at big awards * BP chief joins ranks of 'super-chairmen' * Centrica boss collects £3.5m
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Matt Barrett, the chief executive of Barclays and the man who said his bank's credit cards were "too expensive", received a 66 per cent pay increase last year, taking his total package to nearly £5m.

Matt Barrett, the chief executive of Barclays and the man who said his bank's credit cards were "too expensive", received a 66 per cent pay increase last year, taking his total package to nearly £5m.

According to the bank's annual report, published yesterday, Mr Barrett, who has described himself as a "bargain", received £1.1m in basic salary, and £1.9m as a cash bonus, almost four times his bonus last year. Barclays paid a further £990,000 into his pension fund and awarded Mr Barrett £831,000 worth of shares and £69,000 for his company car and private medical insurance.

Barclays said Mr Barrett's pay rise reflected the success of the bank in the past year. Profits increased 20 per cent to £3.85bn and Barclays shares have been the third best performer among Britain's 11 listed banks. These results hit targets set by the bank four years ago, delivering bumper awards to directors. In 2002, when profits at the bank fell, Mr Barrett saw a 9 per cent drop in his pay.

Part of his £1.9m cash bonus was a reward for delivering a successor to his post as chief executive. John Varley, the finance director, will take over at the end of the year, when Mr Barrett will step up to become chairman. This move flouts corporate governance rules, which state that the chairman of a company should be independent. But in one major climbdown on his remuneration package, Mr Barrett has reduced the amount he would get if he quit the bank. Until this year, he would have got a golden goodbye equal to two years' pay, worth about £5m on last year's salary. But he has "voluntarily" given up this right to a two-year pay-off and will only now get 12 months' pay if he resigns.

The Consumers' Association criticised Mr Barrett's pay increase, saying it wanted directors to be rewarded according to how they treated customers, not just for the profits they made. Mick McAteer, its principal policy adviser, said: "At the moment, directors do not feel under pressure to raise their game and improve service when remuneration and options are all linked to profits."

Mr Barrett was himself forced to admit to the MPs on the Treasury Select Committee last year he did not understand how credit cards worked and would not use one for long-term borrowing because they were "too expensive".

Meanwhile, Sir Roy Gardner, the chief executive of Centrica, the parent company of British Gas and the AA, reinforced his position as one of the country's best-paid executives with a package last year worth £3.5m. Sir Roy, who is also chairman of Manchester United, received £1.48m in salary and a further £2m in share awards and options. Centrica also paid another £1m into his pension pot.

Comments