Glass Lewis urges Barclays’ investors to veto pay proposals

Proxy shareholder adviser Glass Lewis has urged traders to vote in opposition to pay proposals for Barclays’ high executives following a yr of scandals that has price the financial institution a whole bunch of thousands and thousands in fines and settlements.

In September, Barclays was sanctioned by regulators for by accident promoting $17.7bn of structured monetary merchandise it didn’t have authorisation for. It settled for $361mn with the US Securities and Trade Fee and put aside £450mn to compensate traders, serving to drive down annual web earnings 19 per cent.

Individually, it additionally put aside $200mn to settle a US regulatory probe into staff’ unauthorised use of messaging apps WhatsApp and Sign to speak between themselves and with shoppers.

As punishment for these and different scandals, the pay of high executives was lowered by a mixed £1mn, the financial institution stated in February when it revealed its full-year outcomes.

Chief government CS Venkatakrishnan’s bonus was lower by £403,000 and that of finance director Anna Cross by £166,000.

Nevertheless, Glass Lewis objected to long-term awards near £3mn that vested final yr for former chief monetary officer Tushar Morzaria, which means he was awarded greater than two-thirds of his potential pay package deal.

“We consider shareholders might fairly have anticipated the committee to additional scale back this award to higher mirror the monetary and reputational affect of the chance and management points over the interval,” Glass Lewis wrote in a report. Barclays annual normal assembly will likely be held in London on Could 3.

Morzaria was finance chief for eight years, earlier than retiring in April final yr. He’s additionally on the board of BP and Authorized & Common.

Barclays stated: “Issues and choices made by the remuneration committee are set out clearly and absolutely within the 2022 Barclays Annual Report.”

Morzaria didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The judgment of chair Nigel Higgins has additionally drawn scrutiny, in gentle of his determination to stay by former CEO Jes Staley, regardless of e mail proof of shut hyperlinks between Staley and the deceased intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Higgins has subsequently distanced himself from his earlier place after a sequence of revelations in US courtroom instances introduced by the US Virgin Islands and Epstein’s victims in opposition to JPMorgan, the place Staley was once its high personal banking government.

The cache of emails from Staley’s time at JPMorgan embody unexplained references to “Snow White” and “Magnificence and the Beast”, whereas others include what the USVI lawsuit describes as “photographs of younger girls in seductive poses”.

In a letter to shareholders final month, Higgins wrote: “These allegations are severe and new. Barclays itself has obtained no materials new proof from regulators or legislation enforcement companies since Mr Staley left in November 2021.

“The board will even think about additional motion as acceptable,” he added, reiterating that Staley’s deferred pay remained frozen.

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