Barclays and RBS pay 523 staff over £1m despite Libor fines

Saturday, 09 March 2013 05:30

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays paid 523 individual employees more than £1 million in 2012 despite both banks receiving fines of £391 and £290 million respectively.

The two banks released details of pay and bonuses given to all staff. It showed that both banks continued to pay out multi-million pay awards despite weak financial results and both banks being involved in scandals.

On Friday Barclays published details of salaries, bonuses and long-term share awards given to its staff.

It showed that a total of 428 staff were paid more than £1 million, outdoing the UK’s biggest bank, HSBC, who paid 204 staff £1 million or more. Five Barclays employees were paid more than £5 million in 2012.

Barclays first offered to publish pay details of employees earning more than £1 million when Labour was in power, but George Osborne rejected this idea when he became Chancellor. Mr Osborne has now changed his mind and said, the publication allows "shareholders to properly hold institutions to account for how they pay their staff."

Meanwhile, RBS, which is 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, was accused of having the "best paid public sector workers by a mile" after revealing that 95 of its bankers were paid more than £1 million in 2012. This is well below the number of 473 who received pay awards of more than £1 million in 2011.

Lord Oakeshott, said: "They're the best paid public sectors workers by a mile, in a bank that keeps failing the public by failing to lend. Let's end this nonsense and nationalise RBS now".

Critics argue that the banks are acting as if the financial crisis never happened and are not behaving differently in terms of remunerating staff despite being involved in a number of separate mis-selling scandals and overseeing disappointing financial results.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It is as if the financial crisis never happened."

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer for finance, said: “The rampant inequality in the pay between the top Barclays’ executives and those on the front line who deal directly with customers is shocking – and needs to be addressed by the chief executive, Antony Jenkins, as a matter of urgency.”

The details on pay published by Barclays highlight the widening gap between the top paid bankers and the majority of workers for the bank. Whilst 1,338 staff were paid more than £500,000, more than half of its employees, a total of 71,581 staff were paid £25,000 or less.

Meanwhile, at RBS, around 1,950 employees were paid more than £250,000, with the average pay for all staff being £34,000. One employee was paid £5.5 million.

The top eight highest paid Barclays employees received a total of £23 million, each receiving individual pay deals worth between £1.2 million and £3.7 million. Barclays also revealed that it has 393 “code staff”, employees who monitor risks or take risks, who were paid an average of £1.3 million.

At RBS, the top eight staff received a total of £14 million. It also has 368 code staff who were paid an average of £701,000.

Barclays are still paying former chief executive Bob Diamond up until July this year when he will be entitled to a £2 million bonus. He received £1.9 million and the bank paid £600,000 of his tax bill, though he forfeited a share award of £19 million when he left the bank.

His successor, Antony Jenkins, received a full year’s salary of £833,000, pension contributions of £215,000 and other benefits worth £81,000 even though he only started in August. He was also awarded £4.4 million of shares which pay out in three years time, £1.5 million of which is for 2012, giving him a total pay package of £2,5 million for the year.

A statement from Barclays said: "We have made substantial reductions in remuneration, including clawing back £300m of unvested deferred and long-term incentive awards and risk adjustments of £860m to our 2012 incentives pool to reflect the Libor investigation and other risk issues in 2012."

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