Barclays face shareholder attack over Diamond’s bonus

Barclays’ chief executive Bob Diamond should not collect a bonus, despite receiving up to £11.8 million total remuneration for 2011, according to a shareholders advisory group.

Pensions and Investors Research Consultants (Pirc) told shareholders that they should oppose Diamond’s remuneration package, ahead of the Barclays’ annual shareholders meeting on 27 April.

According to The Telegraph, funds totalling up to 6% of the bank’s shareholders – including Standard Life, Fidelity, Aviva and Scottish Widows – are preparing to vote against the executive remuneration report.

Barclays announced in March that Diamond was not the top earner at the bank last year, as his pay and bonuses totalled £6.3 million.

However, Pirc calculates that Diamond’s remuneration package for 2011 was considerably higher, based on when he is able to cash in shares he was allocated. The bank also offered a £5.7 million “tax equalisation” payment, to cover Diamond’s costs of relocating to London from New York in 2010.

Pirc attacked the “confusing” disclosure of executive remuneration. “The value of awards given to the CEO could not be ascertained with reasonable accuracy owing to the rather confusing disclosure,” the shareholders advisory group said.

The bank’s share price and pre-tax profits both fell in 2011, by 33% and 3% respectively.

Pirc added: “In view of the fact that Barclays' shares are trading far below net asset value, we cannot think of any circumstances in which a chief executive who was part of a team when the bank got into that predicament should be receiving any bonus at all, indeed the board should also be considering claw backs itself.”

Lloyds Banking Group announced earlier this year that it will be clawing back £2 million from four board directors and six other executives, following the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI), which Pirc suggests Barlcays are also guilty of.

According to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), banks paid out £1.9 billion in compensation in 2011 for the mis-selling of PPI.