Barclays chief on back foot over bonuses and job cuts

Antony Jenkins has made it his mission to clean up the bank’s image

Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barclays. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barclays. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 01:01


Attempts by Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins to clean up his bank’s image faced a serious setback yesterday amid criticism of his decision to boost bonuses by 10 per cent amid falling profits and 12,000 job cuts.

Mr Jenkins had been seen at Westminster as a fresh start for the banking industry after the excess associated with his predecessor Bob Diamond, but his defence of the bank’s £2.38 billion bonus pool drew the ire of MPs.

The Institute of Directors also questioned how the bank could justify an executive bonus pool “nearly three times bigger than the total dividend payout to the company’s owners”.

The pay row could be further inflamed tomorrow by António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, who plans to accept a bonus in the region of £1.5 million-£2 million when he announces full-year results, according to people close to the bank.


Bonus waived
Overall, bonuses at Barclays, which employs 140,000 people, rose 10 per cent to £2.38 billion, of which it is deferring slightly more than half. At the investment bank, bonuses rose 13 per cent to £1.57 billion. Mr Jenkins had already said he would waive his bonus for a second year.

Mr Jenkins said: “We employ people from Singapore to San Francisco and need the best people in the bank to drive sustained returns to shareholders.”

Dubbed Saint Antony by some commentators, Mr Jenkins has made it his mission to clean up the bank’s image, which was tarnished by a string of scandals culminating in a £290 million fine for Libor rate manipulation and the ousting of Mr Diamond.

But his insistence the bank must pay high remuneration to “compete in the global market for talent” was dismissed by MPs as wearyingly familiar.
– (c) 2014 The Financial Times Limited

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