Pay rises while profits slide at the City's banking giants

Banks headed into another storm of controversy over wages last night as it emerged that Standard Chartered had quietly increased its total pay pot despite a sharp slide in profits, while Barclays, whose profits also fell, admitted 481 employees earned more than £1m last year. Eight of the Barclays executives earned more than £5m.

Lloyds and Barclays, meanwhile, said they were paying their chief executives almost £1m each in shares in 2014 to compensate them for the EU-imposed bonus cap. The two banks also onfirmed they would be seeking shareholder approval to pay bonuses of two-times salary.

Total staff pay at Standard Chartered rose in 2013, despite an 11 per cent slide in profits, an analysis of the bank's accounts by The Independent has revealed.

The Asia-focused bank confirmed yesterday that its profits declined last year for the first time in a decade, slipping to $6bn (£3.75bn), down from $6.9bn in 2012, after suffering heavy write-downs in its South Korean operations.

Stressing that pay is linked to performance, Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands said the bonus pool for staff would be slashed 15 per cent to $1.21bn to reflect the "tough" year. Mr Sands' own bonus would be cut by 21 per cent to $2.5m (£1.6m).

But staff pay across the bank actually increased by 2.1 per cent on 2012, casting doubt on the claim that pay is tracking performance.

Wages and salaries including bonuses rose from $4.87bn to $4.9bn. The number of bank staff in 2013 rose to 88,257, up from 87,569 in 2012. This implies average pay per employee rose from $55,693 to $56,449. Aggregate "salaries, allowances and benefits in kind" of senior directors rose to $25m (up from $21m in 2012). This offset a $3m fall in bonuses (which came down from $10m in 2012 to $7m).

A spokesman said inflation in the Far East, where Standard Chartered employs many of its workers, pushed up the overall pay bill and stressed bonus figures included in the report also included previous years' awards that vested in 2013. Standard Chartered intends to follow HSBC with a share-based allowance scheme to boost fixed pay of top employees despite the EU's incoming cap limiting bonuses to 200 per cent of salary. Mr Sands said this was necessary to retain talent and stop losing staff to rival banks.

By unveiling a cut in bonuses yesterday, Standard Chartered had hoped to distinguish itself from Barclays, which has come under intense criticism for increasing the bonus pot of its investment bankers for 2013 by 13 per cent, despite a 37 per cent fall in the unit's profits. Barclays' annual report yesterday also showed that chief executive Antony Jenkins was awarded £4.4m worth of shares as part of his "2013-15 long-term incentive plan" last March.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Women protest at the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh
tvReview: It's a tough watch, but the details of the brutal gang rape and murder of medical student need to be shared if we want to strive for global gender equality
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
Jeffrey Archer holds up a copy of 'Kane and Abel', a book he says was ripped-off by Bollywood
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

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

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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