New face expected at Barclays after shareholder backlash over bonuses

A veteran City figure is expected to be appointed by Barclays as the new chair of its board remuneration committee in what is being viewed as a move to counter a backlash from shareholders and others over the bank's raising of bonuses despite a fall in profits.

Crawford Gillies, who holds directorships at Standard Life, Scottish Enterprise and Mitie Group, will join Barclays' board as a non-executive director in the coming weeks and take over the chairmanship of the bank's remuneration committee later this year.

Barclays has faced condemnation after announcing a 10% rise in bonus payouts despite a dramatic fall in profits and plans to cut thousands of jobs this year. The bank has drawn fire from trade unions, with the TUC accusing the bank of "sticking two fingers up to hard-pressed families across Britain",

In a rare display of criticism from Barclays' 17th biggest shareholder, Fidelity also said it was "disappointed" the bank was not paying shareholders more.

Fidelity's Chief investment officer, Dominic Rossi, said the bank had landed itself in a "public relations mess".

A spokesman for Barclays' declined to report on the Sky News report, which said that the bank's search for a new pay committee chief had been initiated last autumn, with Sir John Sunderland now entering his 10th year on the board.

Sunderland stunned the banking standards commission last year by saying he had no regrets over paying Bob Diamond £6.3m for 2011, including a £2.7m bonus. Diamond left as Barclays' chief executive in 2012 just days after the bank was fined £290m for rigging Libor

Gillies is expected to assume responsibility for the 2014 remuneration round, which will include role-based allowances for hundreds of bank staff

Barclays' new boss, Antony Jenkins, who came under intense pressure after being accused of failing on promises to clamp down on pay and change the culture of the bank after its £290m fine for rigging Libor, has said that he was forced to increase bonuses after an exodus from Barclays' investment bank in the US left him fearing a "death spiral".

"People are less attracted to come to you, both clients and employees," he told the Daily Telegraph last month.

"You get into something of a death spiral. Your brand deteriorates, and you can move very quickly from being a first tier player to one in the second or third tier if you don't protect the franchise."

Powered by article was written by Ben Quinn, for The Guardian on Monday 14th April 2014 23.23 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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