Financial News

  • 8 February 2013, 12:44

Star Barclays Bankers To Get No Cash Bonus

More than a thousand top investment bankers at Barclays will not receive an up-front cash bonus this year as the group's new boss attempts to overhaul its image as the City's most lavish payer.

I have learnt that employees at managing director level in Barclays' investment banking arm were told today that their bonuses for 2012 would be deferred for at least a year.

About 1200 people who have that rank in its investment bank - which is responsible for the vast majority of bonuses at Barclays - will have to defer a further third of their payout for two years, with the rest paying out in 2016, according to people familiar with the plans. When they pay out, the bonuses will be split equally between cash and equity.

All awards will be subject to clawback clauses allowing the bank to reclaim money in the event of further scandal, insiders said.

The new rules, which are the toughest imposed by Barclays since the financial crisis, reflect a desire from Antony Jenkins, chief executive, to demonstrate that the bank is committed to greater pay restraint than under his predecessor, Bob Diamond.

Mr Jenkins, who will present the outcome of a five-month strategic review alongside Barclays' annual results next Tuesday, has already waived hisown potential bonus for last year.

Barclays' employees will be told how much they have been individually awarded in bonuses tomorrow. The bank's remuneration committee finalised the proposals this year.

The new remuneration structure represents a moderate overhaul of last year's framework, when there was a flat cap on cash payouts of 65,000 across the group. It applies only to staff in the investment bank, and does not affect those at managing director level in the retail or corporate banking divisions.

One source said the 100% deferrals by managing directors in the investment bank would allow more junior staff to defer a smaller portion of their bonuses.

Under the proposals for this year, anyone in Barclays' investment bank awarded a bonus of less than 65,000 will receive the entire amount in cash, while those below managing director level handed payouts of between 65,000 and 250,000 would be required to defer 35% of their bonuses.

Sources pointed out that this year's bonus pool would still involve a total payout of between 1.5bn and 2bn, which would constitute a reduction in the size of last year's pot but still mean that Barclays is by far the most significant spender on variable compensation of all the major UK banks.

Mr Jenkins is expected to face questions from analysts and the media next Tuesday about how much money Barclays has clawed back from its employees as a result of its involvement in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. The bank was fined 290m, and is understood to have attempted to claw back a significant proportion of that sum.

The bank has also added more than 2bn in the last 12 months to its compensation bill for mis-selling payment protection insurance and interest rate hedging products, although 1bn of that was confirmed only this week, after the end of the 2012 financial year.

Barclays declined to comment on its bonus plans.

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