Diamond faces new shareholder revolt

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The Independent Online

Barclays has been hit with a fresh blow ahead of what is expected to be a stormy annual meeting on Friday with the news that the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum has urged members to vote down its remuneration report.

The LAPFF's members are responsible for more than £100bn of assets, and its opposition comes as a blow to the bank, which tried to buy off a revolt last week by adding new profitability targets that Barclays has to hit for the chief executive, Bob Diamond, pictured, and finance director, Chris Lucas, to get their full 2011 annual bonuses.

The LAPFF has issued an alert to members giving commentary on the company's performance-related awards to Mr Diamond, and his contentious "tax equalisation" payment. It said there had been "unprecedented interest" in Barclays from members.

The Forum said it believed that the awards for the chief executive were "hard to justify given the bank's poor performance". It added that the £5.7m "tax equalisation" payment made to offset the tax impact of Mr Diamond's relocation to the UK was "a potential issue of concern".

Barclays' chairman, Marcus Agius, has been conducting a PR campaign with investors to try to head off a revolt over the remuneration report.

Alison Carnwath, chairman of the remuneration committee, has also come under fire. Pirc, which advises pension funds on voting at AGMs, has urged clients to vote against her re-election because of the "shambles" at Barclays.

Neither Pirc nor the Association of British Insurers, which has given the company an "amber top" representing concern, have changed their stance despite the concession over Mr Diamond's pay last week.