Barclays boss makes pledges to keep a hold on bankers’ pay

 

The new chairman of Barclays, Sir David Walker, today promised shareholders that he would continue to restrain bankers’ pay and strive to re-establish trust in the bank after it was severely damaged by Libor-rigging and mis-selling scandals.

He told them, as he introduced a substantially changed board of directors, that the bank recognised “unequivocally the need for substantial change — particularly in restoring trust.”

Walker said Barclays was in the process of “fundamentally changing” the way it paid its staff “to ensure that this takes into account how results are delivered as well as what those results are.” He pointed out that total pay and bonuses across the investment bank had fallen 20% last year despite its improved profits. “In Barclays and the wider banking industry, pay became excessive,” Walker declared.

Ahead of the shareholder meeting at the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank, Barclays published its response to the review of the bank’s culture, carried out by lawyer Anthony Salz and published this month.

The review was commissioned in the wake of the departure of former chairman Marcus Agius and ex-chief executive Bob Diamond last summer after the £290 million fines imposed on the bank from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic for its role in rigging the Libor interest rate. Unsurprisingly, Barclays accepted all 34 of Salz’s recommendations.

Walker and chief executive Antony Jenkins said in a joint statement: “This report is our response to those recommendations and strives to outline our approach to implementing each of those in a clear and transparent fashion. The board is committed to implementing all of the recommendations and to publishing an account of our progress in doing so.”

Walker described the Salz report as “inciteful and vigorous” which, in places, made for “uncomfortable reading”.

Outside the annual meeting demonstrators from the World Development Movement staged their usual protest against the bank’s soft-commodities trading and its effect on food prices.

Deborah Doane, director of the movement, said: “Barclays has taken a step in the right direction by pulling out of some forms of food speculation. But its actions are effectively a whitewash.

“It still profits from financial gambling, fuelling food price rises in a world where nearly a billion people go hungry. Only tough regulation and a level playing field can curb speculation and prevent banks from playing havoc with food prices.”

Addressing the broader subject of regulation Walker said that “more intensive and intrusive regulation is here to stay” from both sides of the Atlantic. But he added that Barclays “embraces this”. Yesterday the group reported a 25% drop in first-quarter profits after it spent just more than £500 million of an expected £1 billion on Jenkins’s “Transform” programme which he launched in February.

Unlike last year’s stormy meeting, Barclays shareholders were set to give overwhelming support to the election of the directors and acceptance of the remuneration report.

Last year more than a quarter of the votes went against the pay report.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific