Laughing all the way to the bank: Barclays boss gets £28m in one year

Bob Diamond's pay packet provokes anger – and the bosses of Lloyds and RBS did OK as well

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The Independent Online

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond picked up £28.3m in pay, benefits, incentive plans and other rewards last year, pitching him into the centre of a new row over bankers' bonuses.

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Mr Diamond, the American investment banker, received £1.35m salary, £2.7m bonus and £21.8m in other tax fees, incentives and payments, some granted in previous years. A further "contingent capital award" of £2.35m will be paid in May.

MPs and campaigners expressed anger at the payments, which follows a 3 per cent drop in Barclays' annual profits to £5.9bn and criticism from HMRC last week that the bank tried to avoid paying £500m tax through "highly abusive" loopholes.

Mr Diamond's £6.3m basic pay and bonus was down on the previous year's £9m. Two unidentified Barclays financiers – thought to be the co-heads of its investment banking arm Barclays Capital, Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci – received more, £6.7m and £6.5m respectively. In total, Barclays paid 238 executives £310m in salary and bonuses and £47m in long-term incentive – an average £1.5m per senior financier.

In what was described as "bank bonus day," there were also payouts at Lloyds Banking Group, which slumped to losses of £3.5billion last year after refunding £3.2bn to customers mis-sold payment protection insurance. The group, 40 per cent owned by the taxpayer, gave its chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, a long-term incentive plan of £3.4m, bringing his total remuneration for the year to £4.46m. Mr Horta-Osorio waived his bonus earlier this year after missing two months' suffering from stress and sleeping problems, though he may not have been awarded one.

Alison Brittain, Lloyds' head of its consumer banking arm – which was responsible for the PPI mis-selling – received a £0.8m deferred bonus of £1.6m long-term compensation.

The bonus row began in January after Stephen Hester, chief executive of state-controlled RBS, was awarded £1m. After days of outrage, he agreed to forego his headline bonus. The company's accounts show that Mr Hester received a £4.5m deferred award and is also entitled to a further £13.6m from awards and other incentives granted in previous years.

John Hourican, RBS's investment banking head, is set to receive shares worth £4.2m next month when a long-term incentive plan matures. He also received a £2.5m shares bonus for 2011.

The highest-paid banker in the RBS group – 84 per cent owned by taxpayers – was the chief executive of its US arm, Citizens Financial Group. Ellen Alemany, who received a total package of £4.7m.

David Hillman, a spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, attacked the Barclays' bonuses. He said: "The pockets of Bob Diamond and his fellow bankers are busting at the seams from their multi-million pound pay packets, whilst the Exchequer is being left short by the bank's tax avoidance measures. The Government's stand-off approach to ensuring banks pay their fair share to society isn't working."

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "This bonus epitomises how banks have failed the wider economy and got away with it. People are sick of seeing money that should be spent supporting businesses being lavished on the very people that brought our economy to its knees a few years ago."

Barclays defended the package, saying it was not fair to include the £5m 'tax equalisation charge' in Mr Diamond's pay since it was paid to him to ensure he did not lose out from his transfer from the lower-tax US to the UK. The company also said it was not correct to lump in awards from past years paid last year.

In a statement, the chairman of Barclays, Marcus Agius, argued that the global banking giant, which is capitalised at £29bn, needed to pay competitive rates to keep top talent. He said: "Barclays needs to operate commercially and that includes setting remuneration for our executive directors appropriately.

"In determining what Bob Diamond's bonus should be, the remuneration committee took into account both Barclays absolute and relative financial performance and Bob Diamond's delivery of those elements of management which were under his control.

"Mr Diamond's bonus was 80 per cent of the total entitlement because of the fall in profits and its role in the payment protection scandal."