Barclays gets pay rebuff from a third of investors

Chairman apologises to shareholders after 2 billion votes are cast against bank's remuneration report

Barclays received a bloody nose yesterday after nearly a third of its share-holders refused to back its pay policy, which saw chief executive Bob Diamond collect a total of £17.7m last year.

Shareholders vented their anger on the chair of Barclays' remuneration committee, the former investment banker Alison Carnwath, with a total of 24 per cent of the votes cast against her or withheld.

At the occasionally rowdy shareholders meeting, the chairman Marcus Agius apologised to investors in a packed Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank. He admitted that Barclays' bosses "have not done a good enough job in articulating our case".

"On some matters we should have communicated earlier and more clearly," said Mr Agius, who was heckled on several occasions.

"For this I apologise, and I assure you that in the future we will be engaging differently and more purposefully with shareholders in order to ensure that we obtain a broader level of support on remuneration policy and practice."

Just over 2 billion votes (27 per cent) were cast against the remuneration report and another 521 million abstained.

Following the vote, George Dallas, corporate governance director at F&C, said: "This is a significant statement of investor concern about the company's remuneration practices. We would hope that the board will clarify its interpretation of this vote, and how this may affect the company's remuneration structure and implementation going forward." The Association of British Insurers said the vote had "showed investor concern on pay" and added that "all banks face a challenge to improve the case for investing in them".

The fund manager Patrick Evershed, who is also president of the Cities of London & Westminster Conservatives, said: "Some City bonuses have been so large that they have divided our society and caused serious damage to the reputation of the City. It made it next to impossible for those of us who believe in capitalism to defend those bonuses."

A private shareholder, Bill Wray, when asked to empty his pockets of coins for the security scanner joked: "I haven't got any money, Bob Diamond took it all. The man lives in a different world to the rest of us."

Ms Carnwath was met with ironic laughter when she told shareholders that "decisions were even more difficult this year than usual". But she was applauded when she said: "We will continue to seek to push down the levels of remuneration to reflect the environment we work in."

Barclays paid three times as much in bonuses – £2.15bn – as it did in dividends – £730m – last year. Last week Mr Diamond and the finance director Chris Lucas agreed that half their annual bonus for 2011 should not be paid until the return on equity at the bank exceeded its cost of capital.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk