Barclays reports profits up 92% to £11.6 billion

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The Independent Online

Banking giant Barclays posted record annual profits of £11.6 billion for 2009 today as its two most senior bosses turned down bonuses for the second year in a row.

The pre-tax profits - 92% ahead of 2008 - were buoyed by its investment banking arm and the sale of part of the business last year to raise funds.

But chief executive John Varley and president Bob Diamond have sacrificed payouts in the light of the "intense public interest and concern" over bankers' pay, Barclays said.

Barclays said other top directors would take all their bonuses in shares over a three-year period and the payments would be subject to clawback.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and G20 principles on pay have also been put in place across the group as the bank seeks to rebuild trust in the banking sector which has been "significantly weakened by the events of the last three years".

At Barclays Capital, the investment banking business where profits surged 89% last year, the proportion of revenues paid out in salary and bonuses fell from 44% to 38%.

The bank said it had lent an extra £35 billion to the UK economy during 2009, far beyond its £11 billion pledge last April.

Chairman Marcus Agius said: "We believe that, when the behaviour of banks is assessed by their stakeholders to see whether we have genuinely learnt from the experiences of the last years, we will be judged mostly by how we conduct our business and, in particular today, by how we lend and how we pay.

"We know that the impact of the credit crunch and of the subsequent recession has made the lives of millions of citizens and thousands of businesses more difficult. We know that it's our obligation to provide support in ways that are responsible."

BarCap - where business was boosted by the addition of parts of the failed US bank Lehman Brothers - saw a total pay and bonus pot of £4.5 billion, almost double the previous year.

Across the group as a whole, Barclays paid out £2.7 billion in bonuses - £1.5 billion in cash bonuses and £1.2 billion in long-term awards vesting over three years. Almost three-quarters of these payouts were made in shares.

Of this, around 80% or £2.1 billion was paid out in bonuses to 23,000 investment bankers. The average compensation per employee in BarCap was £191,000.

Barclays is paying £225 million to the Treasury as a result of the bonus tax introduced by Chancellor Alistair Darling at the end of last year.

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