Barclays bosses to face shareholder anger at AGM

 

Barclays bosses will face more shareholder anger over pay tomorrow when the banking giant holds its annual general meeting in London.

It recently defied calls for restraint by hiking its staff bonus pool by 10 per cent to £2.38 billion despite profits falling by a third and plans to cut thousands of jobs.

The AGM comes in the wake of a letter from Business Secretary Vince Cable to the UK's top 100 listed businesses warning them that persisting with high levels of executive pay would be a "dereliction of duty" and damage trust.

Barclays has already announced the appointment of a new director, Crawford Gillies, to chair its remuneration committee in a move to prevent a potential investor revolt. He will succeed Sir John Sunderland at a date to be set.

Shareholder lobby group Pirc had recommended that its members oppose five resolutions at the AGM, including the remuneration report and the reappointment of Sir John.

Pirc is also unhappy that Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins will receive up to £1 million in share allowances on top of salary and bonuses to defy European rules to cap payouts.

The bank's pay policy has also been criticised by the Institute of Directors, which complained that the bonus pool for 2013 was nearly three times the £859 million paid out in dividends to shareholders.

But Mr Jenkins said recently that the level of pay was necessary in order to retain top talent in its investment banking arm.

Barclays announced the increase in its bonus pool in February despite a 32 per cent drop in annual profits to £5.2 billion. It also confirmed plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs this year, including 7,000 this year, under plans to slash costs across the group.

Since then it has emerged that hundreds more jobs look set to go, mainly at its investment banking arm, after Barclays announces the results of a strategic review which will comes two days after the bank's next trading update in May.

PA

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