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Barclays survives shareholder revolt over bonus payments

by David Campbell on Apr 24, 2014 at 12:40

Barclays survives shareholder revolt over bonus payments

Shareholders made their disdain with Barclays' bonus pool clear with 24% voting against the banks' remuneration report at its AGM today. 

Standard Life, the bank's sixth largest shareholder, launched a public attack over the proposals and bank staff were repeatedly criticised by small shareholders at the meeting.

‘We did not take this decision lightly but, on balance, believe this was the right thing to do,’ said Alison Kennedy, governance and stewardship director at SLI.

‘We appreciate that there were competitive pressures during 2013, particularly in the investment banking business and that the board was seeking to protect a business franchise under threat.’

‘Nevertheless, we are unconvinced that the amount of the 2013 bonus pool was in the best interests of shareholders, particularly when we consider how the bank's profits are divided amongst employees, shareholders and ongoing investment in the business.

‘The dividend was unchanged in the year and an additional £5.8 billion of capital was raised from shareholders. We also believe that this decision has had negative repercussions on the bank's reputation.’

A shareholder attending today’s AGM in London had earlier claimed they were ‘paying for Manchester United but getting Colchester United,’ according to the Guardian.

Another claimed that the bank was ‘a prisoner to its senior staff,’ to loud applause.

A series of large Barclays shareholders have anonymously taken to the media in recent weeks to say they intend to oppose Barclays remuneration policies, as pay and awards have continued to rise despite lacklustre return on equity.

However, the remuneration report was passed by 76% of shareholders and the directors all received over 90% backing to be reappointed to the company.

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