Exclusive: Barclays Risks New Bonuses Row
Barclays will risk stoking fresh anger over bank pay on Wednesday when it releases details of share awards worth millions of pounds to its top executives.
I have learnt that the bank will make a stock exchange announcement this afternoon in which it will say that the head of its investment bank, Rich Ricci, is receiving millions of pounds-worth of shares - despite having waived his annual bonus for 2012 over the Libor-rigging scandal.
The share awards relate to allocations made in previous years as part of deferred long-term incentive plans, and cover the executives on Barclays' board and its top-level management committee.
Among the others who will receive big share awards today are Antony Jenkins, Barclays' new chief executive and Chris Lucas, its outgoing finance director.
The timing of Barclays' announcement - coming on the same day as George Osborne's Budget statement - leaves the bank open to accusations that it is attempting to conceal the potentially-controversial share payouts.
A Barclays insider pointed out that it had an obligation to make a stock exchange announcement when share awards vest and said that the date had been set "well before the timing of the Budget was announced".
Another source said that Barclays might decide to bring forward the announcement because of the leak to Sky News.
Today's payouts do not form part of the £1.8bn that Barclays awarded in bonuses for 2012. That figure was disclosed alongside the bank's annual results last month, in which Mr Jenkins pledged to rebalance the distribution of rewards between employees and investors.
Barclays announced a series of measures aimed at showing restraint in its remuneration report, including reducing its bonus pool by £450m to take account of Libor fines and the rising compensation bill for payment protection insurance and other product mis-selling.
Barclays declined to comment.