Barclays board faces ‘greedy b******s’ abuse
Aggrieved shareholders remained unconvinced that chief executive Antony Jenkins – appointed last year to clean up Barclays’ reputation as a reckless and unethical organisation – would stick with an agenda of pay restraint. Among critics at the annual meeting was Joan Woolard of Lincolnshire, who declared anyone earning more than £1 million to be “a greedy b*****d”.
Newly-appointed chairman Sir David Walker said the board was “sympathetic to those concerns” about pay, and was in the process of fundamentally changing the way staff are rewarded. He also agreed that salaries and bonuses had been too high in the past.
“In Barclays and the wider banking industry, pay became excessive,” Walker said.
Despite the criticism, the remuneration report received 95 per cent of votes cast. Last year, more than a quarter voted against the pay report. Barclays was criticised earlier this year when it was revealed that 428 individuals were each paid £1m or more in 2012, prompting questions over the pace of change under Jenkins’ reign.
A report commissioned by Barclays and written by veteran lawyer Antony Salz noted earlier this month that pay for the top 70 executives was consistently above the average at Barclays’ rivals. The bank yesterday described its quest to bring down remuneration levels as “a multi-year journey”.