The 24,000 staff at the investment banking arm of Barclays will find out on Friday the size of their bonuses for 2012 – a year in which the reputation of the bank has been torn to shreds by the Libor rigging scandal as well as misselling of payment protection insurance and interest rate swaps.
Rumours will sweep the trading floors about the amount of money being handed out although the first stab at calculating an average payout will not be possible until Tuesday when the bank publishes its results for 2012.
The bank's new chief executive Antony Jenkins wants to demonstrate restraint. He has already waived a £1m bonus following negative publicity and now the 1,200 managing directors at what used to be known as Barclays Capital have been told that they will not receive any of their 2012 bonuses until next year. The bonuses, split 50% in cash and 50% in shares, will then be paid out in equal portions over three years to 2016.
Those below managing director level will receive cash bonuses of up to £65,000. Bonuses above £250,000 will be paid entirely in shares. The portion between £65,000 and £250,000 will find that 35% of their bonuses are being deferred.
These are steps that give the bank a longer period over which to claw back any payments and potentially make it tougher for those at the top to leave. But changing the structure of the payouts will be meaningless if Barclays is not able to prove that it is changing the way it thinks about bankers' pay. After a bruising encounter with shareholders at last year's annual meeting, the bank's board is aware of this. Investors want a bigger share of the spoils. Last year they were handed £700m in dividends while the bank paid out £2.1bn in bonuses. When the results are published on Tuesday – and the dividends and bonuses revealed – investors will be able to judge for themselves if the bonus culture has changed.
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image: © Elliot Brown