Barclays was accused of “misleading shareholders” by an industry body, which represents 64 public sector pension funds worth £150 billion ($US226 billion) in combined assets, because one particular executive on the remuneration committee has still not left the bank.
Before last year’s Annual General Meeting, Barclays promised that Sir John Sunderland would resign as chair of the bank’s pay review committee. It even mentioned that he would be replaced by City heavyweight Crawford Gillies, who already holds board positions at Standard Life and for Scottish Enterprise.
However, 11 months on, and Sunderland who infamously said in 2011 that former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond deserved his
£2.7m (€3.3m) bonus, despite the bank being fined £290 million for Libor fixing, is still there.
Gillies, in the meantime, is still a non-executive director at Barclays after being appointed in April 2014.
“Sir John Sunderland must go from the Barclays board immediately. It is inexplicable how Barclays can have gone back on its promise to the 2014 AGM that Sir John would step down,” said Kieran Quinn, chair of Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), in a statement.
“Having messed up remuneration for 2013, Sir John has in fact stayed on as chair and presided over another year of still unacceptably high pay for 2014, and is still in place in March 2015. It’s nothing short of misleading shareholders.”
However, Barclays said in a statement that “there has been no breach of ‘promise’ and nor has Barclays acted in a way which is contrary to any statement we have made.”
It added that Gillies would succeed Sunderland on 23 April this year.
Barclays paid out £3.7 billion in currency market manipulation litigation costs in 2014 as well as costs associated with dealing with a number of retail investor mis-selling scandals and writedowns from property loan portfolios.
But Barclays’ awarded its CEO Antony Jenkins a £1.1 million bonus, which is the first since he took over from Diamond in 2012.
Overall, for Barclays staff, the 2014 bonus pot for the bank fell by £520 million to £1.86bn.