Client Affairs

Barclays CEO Spurns Offer Of Bonus

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, February 4, 2014

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At the end of what has been a tough period with restructuring of areas such as wealth management, the chief executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, said yesterday he will not accept a bonus payment for 2013. The bank is due to report full-year results on February 11.

At the end of what has been a tough period with restructuring of areas such as wealth management, the chief executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, said yesterday he will not accept a bonus payment for 2013. The bank is due to report full-year results on February 11.

The bank has been through a series of at times painful changes to cope with an environment of mounting costs – and the aftermath of the LIBOR-rigging scandal that saw the resignation more than a year ago of predecessor Robert Diamond. It has seen, for example, cuts to private banker numbers. An overhaul of the wealth management division saw it cut service to clients with less than £500,000 ($815,104), leading to a number of roles being reduced.

The bonuses paid to bank bosses in recent years have become a hot political, as well as economic, issue, even though in Barclays’ case the bank did not receive aid from the taxpayer during the 2008 financial crisis. Jenkins' decision can be seen also as a move by the bank to avoid the kind of negative headlines that often attend any discussion of banker's pay.

Yesterday, Jenkins said that while the firm had moved forward, it would not be appropriate for him to receive a bonus at a time when colleagues had had to make hard decisions.

“2013 has been a year of considerable positive change for Barclays, and I am particularly proud of the progress we have made in starting to rebuild trust, in defining and implementing a common culture, in repositioning the business for the future, and in significantly improving our balance sheet,” he said.

“While all of these actions are in the long-term interests of our shareholders, I am aware of the very significant costs which have been required to address legacy litigation and conduct issues in 2013, as well as to exit assets and businesses we no longer wish to participate in. When combined with the substantial rights issue we completed in the autumn, I have concluded that it would not be right, in the circumstances, for me to accept a bonus for 2013, and I have therefore respectfully declined the one offered to me by the board,” he said.

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