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The Rich gets richer: Barclays chief Rich Ricci lands £18m windfall

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Barclays investment banking chief Rich Ricci landed an £18 million windfall today after the bank handed out mammoth share awards to top bosses.

Mr Ricci's multimillion-pound pay day came as he sold a 5.7 million tranche of shares given to him by the bank for previous annual bonuses and long-term incentive schemes, despite waiving a bonus for 2012.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins, who also agreed not to take a bonus for last year, picked up 1.8 million shares worth £6 million and immediately sold half - netting him £2.9 million.

This follows a £2.6 million total pay package paid to Mr Jenkins last year, including a £1.5 million long-term incentive bonus due to pay out in future years if he meets performance targets.

Nine executives in total received share fortunes worth a combined £40 million today in what is likely to stoke further controversy over pay deals at the bank following its Libor rate rigging scandal and mis-selling controversies.

The timing of the announcement to coincide with the Budget also attracted criticism, although Barclays claimed it planned today's release months before the Chancellor set the date.

Details of the share awards come after Barclays revealed in its annual report earlier this month that 428 workers were paid more than £1 million last year, including five who got more than £5 million despite a year of scandal and falling profits.

The report also highlighted a widening pay gap at the bank as it showed there were more than 71,500 staff who received less than £25,000 last year.

Barclays stressed that today's share awards were for deferred annual bonus payouts from previous years and long-term incentive schemes.

A Barclays spokesman said: "Barclays has revised its remuneration policy and all future incentive awards, short and long-term, will be based on the new principles that have been set out."

Barclays added that the sale of shares by Mr Jenkins today was made to meet tax liabilities on the award.