Investors demand big cut to bonus payouts at Barclays

Shareholders call for pay to be curbed as RBS boss admits investment bankers are paid too highly

The anger over massive banker pay turned its focus to Barclays last night as it emerged that major shareholders had urged it to rein in bonuses this year.

Sources confirmed the powerful Association of British Insurers held a meeting with Barclays' remuneration committee early this week to take issue with reported plans to pay millions of pounds of bonuses to a handful of senior directors.

It is thought the total bonus pot for bankers at Barclays could top £1bn.

Sky News reported that the shareholders demanded reduced pay deals, threatening to vote against the company's remuneration report if the bank did not comply. Bob Diamond, chief executive, is thought to be in line for a bonus of at least £3m.

News of the discussions came a day after reports said Mr Diamond was next week going to inform Barclays Capital staff their pay was to be as much as 30 per cent down on a year ago.

The ABI's involvement is important as its members channel billions of pounds of Britons' savings into FTSE 100 companies.

Barclays took its time in the spotlight as Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of the taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, admitted yesterday that bankers' pay was "too high".

Speaking for the first time since he gave up his £1.4m share award and chief executive Stephen Hester waived his £963,000 bonus,

Sir Philip said: "Pay has been high for too long, particularly in investment banks. Shareholders have done pretty badly and bankers have done pretty well."

His admission came as the industry braced itself for another month of "banker-bashing" headlines as Britain's banks begin unveiling their full-year profit figures.

Sir Philip said he believed that banker pay would come down from its current too-high levels: "That needs to be corrected. It actually isn't a society or fairness issue, it's a straightforward business issue. Too much of the money has not been going to the right place. There will be a correction to bring bank pay properly into line with other businesses."

Mr Diamond is preparing to give BarCap staff the bad news. It will mean pay for those at "vice president" level falling from as much as $750,000 (£474,000) to about $650,000, sources confirmed. He is also expected to announce a cull of about 5 per cent of staff.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and even Goldman Sachs have reduced pay levels as revenue has slowed. On Thursday, Deutsche Bank told staff it was cutting investment banker pay by 15 per cent.

Sir Philip claimed the industry was dealing with its high-on-the-hog living. "It's in the process of changing. Pay is falling in this industry and has been in recent years."

However, he admitted pay was coming down "perhaps not as fast as some people would like". Sir Philip denied he and his board had ever threatened to resign at the government's stance on the bonuses.

He added: "It was certainly my decision that Stephen Hester should get this bonus."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn