‘Business as usual’ with £1.5bn bonus pot at Barclays

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Barclays has been accused of ignoring anger over bonuses and running “business as usual” as it revealed a £1.5 billion pot for investment bankers.

A 32 per cent cut to the bonus pool at Barclays Capital in 2011 was merely in line with a 32 per cent fall in profits at the investment arm and did not signal the change required, major shareholder group the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warned.

The bank said the average bonus for staff was cut by 30 per cent to £64,000 in 2011, while the group’s total bonus pool was down 25 per cent at £2.2 billion.

Chief executive Bob Diamond refused to be drawn on questions about his own bonus, amid reports he could be in line to receive a £3m payout.

And Robert Talbut, ABI investment committee chairman, said: “Whilst overall bonus levels have been reduced, this reduction is only in line with the fall in profit.

“This appears to be very close to business as usual. It is not the signal of the change required.”

The results come amidst growing furore in Barnsley over the council’s decision to start banking with Barclays instead of the ethically-focused Co-op, with whom the authority has had a long-standing relationship.

Former MEP Michael McGowan said: “It would add insult to injury to expect the people of Barnsley to help to pay for top bonuses of a private share holders bank like Barclays, whilst ditching the Co-op, which is member-owned and has a record of ethical trading.”

“Loyalty to the co-operative movement in Barnsley runs deep. If the council are prepared to kick out the Co-op and impose Barclays they are asking for trouble.”

Frances Foster, acting executive director at the council, said the decision followed a tendering process in which “Barclays scored highest” of the four bids received.