Burying bad news on Budget day? It's bumper bonuses for Barclays fat cats

Banks 'wildly out of touch with real world'

Barclays handed nine top bosses £40m in shares today, on the day that the Chancellor, George Osborne, warned Britain’s increasingly hard-pressed citizens that there could be no let-up in his austerity programme.

The lion’s share of the bumper payout was handed to the bank’s racehorse-owning head of investment banking, Rich Ricci, who pocketed Barclays shares worth £17.6m, all of which were sold to generate cash.

News of the bumper payouts was smuggled out in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange at 3pm today – less than two hours after the Chancellor had sat down.

The move swiftly led to accusations that the bank was attempting to “bury bad news” at a time when the focus of the media was elsewhere. Chief executive Antony Jenkins received £5.6m in shares, although he kept half of them, while Tom Kalaris, head of Barclays Wealth, whose American arm has been embroiled in a scandal over its business practices, was handed £5.5m.

The outgoing finance director, Chris Lucas, received £1.2m in shares plus a further package of share options at £1 each, worth £1.2m in profit at the 308p price on the day they were awarded.

Barclays failed to dampen the fire by refusing to address the claims directly. However, sources close to the bank insisted that the date of the announcement had been set weeks before Mr Osborne announced the date of his Budget. But that did nothing to stem campaigners’ outrage at both the size of the awards and their timing.

David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign which wants a tax on a bank’s financial transactions to be paid to good causes, said: “A scandal-hit bank attempting to bury news of its grotesque rewards on Budget day is hardly evidence of a reformed financial sector. This tells you all you need to know – banks cannot be trusted to put their own house in order, the Government must intervene to bring them back into line.”

The TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, added: “On the same day that families learn the income squeeze is set to last even longer and nurses, teachers, firefighters and other public servants find out that their pay is to be held back even more, Barclays decides that it’s a good time to announce mega-payouts to its top directors.

“While millions struggle to make ends meet, the banks and the Chancellor – who only a few weeks ago was so desperately keen to stop Europe capping City bonuses – seem wildly out of touch with what is going on in the real world.” Shareholder groups also privately questioned the size of the awards and the way they were announced.

Anger at the bumper bonus packages will heighten the difficulties for Mr Osborne in resisting the EU’s plan to introduce a cap on bankers’ bonuses of 100 per cent of salary or 200 per cent if a “super majority” of shareholders approve. European policymakers were last night finalising the plans, but officials said they would not come in until the middle of 2014 to allow time for countries to complete legal preparations.

The City and the banking industry have warned that the reforms will force salaries higher and restrict their ability to “claw back” pay from bankers if their actions damage their employers. They also warn that it will drive business away from the City. But the plans enjoy widespread public support and the awards threaten to heighten a perception that the banking industry is out of control.

In a statement, Barclays said the awards were for work done in prior years. “The share releases detailed in this announcement include deferred shares awarded from previous years’ annual performance bonuses and, in some cases, vesting of historical long-term incentive plans,” said a spokesman.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone