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Barclays to reveal as many as 600 staff earn more than £1m a year

Category : Business

Move will shed light on the earnings of lowest and highest paid staff and could force rival banks to follow suit

Barclays is expected to reveal next week that as many as 600 of its staff are paid more than £1m, in the most detailed disclosure yet about how much its 140,000 employees take home each year.

In a move that could force rival banks to follow suit, Barclays is preparing to report how much its staff earn through a wide range of pay scales, shedding light on the pay of its lowest and highest paid staff.

Under the direction of chairman Sir David Walker, Barclays is to adopt a new way of providing information about pay when it publishes its annual report next week, potentially re-igniting the row over the high bonuses handed out in the City. Analysts estimate as many as 600 Barclays staff could take home more than £1m. It is understood that Royal Bank of Scotland is considering whether to provide more information about pay for 2012.

Walker, a City veteran, was hired to replace Marcus Agius after the Libor rigging scandal in June, which also forced out chief executive Bob Diamond and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.

In 2009 Walker was commissioned by the Labour government to review standards in banking following the bank bailouts and called for pay to be disclosed in bands above £1m. But when the coalition came to power in 2010 he had backed down, saying such a move needed international co-operation. Walkers’s brackets for bands at the time of his 2009 report were £1m to £2.5m, £2.5m to £5m and in bands of £5m thereafter. The recipients were not to be named.

He appears to be going further in the disclosures that will be made by Barclays by including the lowest pay grades. Shortly after his appointment to the bank’s board in September he was the first witness at the parliamentary commission on banking standards and called for more disclosure of bankers’ pay, suggesting that the pay of the top “50 to 100″ highest paid bankers should be released.

Under UK rules banks are required to publish the pay of all boardroom directors. Since the financial crisis banks have been required to disclose the pay of the five highest paid staff reporting to the chief executive, although this has now been increased to the eight highest paid staff. Other rules require banks to publish information about the number of “code staff” – those responsible for managing and taking risks – and broad details about how they are paid.

For 2011, Barclays said its 238 code staff were paid an average of £1.2m while RBS had 386 code staff earning £820,000 on average.

However, some banks have voluntarily provided details about the number of people taking home more than £1m. HSBC, which will be the first bank to publish its annual report containing pay details for staff when it reports its full-year results on Monday, does not formally publish how many of its staff receive more than £1m. But when asked last year the bank said that 192 were paid £1m or more in 2011. Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of RBS said in 2011 that “more than 100″ were paid £1m when he was asked about top pay.

Devising the best formula for how bankers – and any top executives – are paid each year is difficult. Barclays is expected to calculate total take-home pay on the basis of salaries, annual bonus and the value of any Long-term incentive plan (Ltip) issued to employees in shares. These Ltips typically last for three years.

Barclays boss hints at end to free banking

Category : Business

End to free banking could be on the cards at Barclays as new boss Sir David Walker backs idea of paying for current accounts

An end to free banking could be on the cards at Barclays after Sir David Walker, the newly appointed chairman of the bank, indicated his support for the idea of paying for current accounts.

Echoing the remarks of regulators, Walker said that “in principle” he agreed that customers should pay as it might prevent misselling of financial products.

“Because banks are not charging, it drives them inexorably into this sort of position,” Walker said in a newspaper interview shortly after being named as the replacement for Marcus Agius, who is leaving in the wake of Libor rigging scandal.

Andrew Bailey, a top regulator at the Financial Services Authority, has previously described the concept of free banking as a “myth” and raised the prospect of intervention in the market to ensure customers can see what they are paying for.

David Walker draws up Barclays’ to-do list

Category : Business

Septuagenarian charged with rebuilding Barclays’ reputation after the Libor scandal says priority is finding a new chief executive

Sir David Walker, the septuagenarian charged with rebuilding Barclays’ reputation in the wake of the Libor scandal, says finding a new chief executive is his number one priority, though a rewrite of the bank’s pay policy is also on the cards.

“This is a good time to be reforming pay,” Walker told the Observer last week.

“We may still suffer some breakages [employees leaving] but if people are only doing it for the money they are probably not the people we need.”

At the bank’s annual meeting in April, nearly a third of investors failed to back the remuneration report, which included a £17m pay package for then chief executive Bob Diamond, and the cost of a £5.7m tax bill for the US-born banker, who quit after the £290m Libor fine.

Walker, who has 50 years’ experience as policymaker and banker, led a review of banking culture for the Labour government in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis. He plays down the need for an overhaul: “The board absolutely does not need a clearout, but it does need to supplemented. Three significant roles have gone – the chairman, the chief executive and the chairman of the remuneration committee.”

Walker is expected to stay for three years – by which time he will be 75. He says his age will not hinder him: “I’m up for it.”