Barclays Ups Bonuses While Cutting 12.000 Jobs

Britain’s second-biggest bank by assets Barclays (LON: BARC) plans to eliminate as many as 12,000 jobs worldwide, the firm’s chief executive officer said on a conference call Tuesday.

Antony Jenkins confirmed the job losses as the bank said it paid $3.9 billion in bonuses last year, raising bonus payments at the investment bank by 13 percent despite a slump in its profits.

The job losses and bump in payments came on a day when Barclays reported adjusted pre-tax profit of £191 million ($313 million) in the three months to the end of December, down a whopping 86% year on year. The bank also said its annual operating profit for fiscal 2013 at its key investment banking unit — usually Barclay`s main profit generator — dropped 37% to $4.1 billion.

“We pay for performance and we pay competitively,” Jenkins said in an interview with BBC Radio.‘‘We employ people from Singapore to San Francisco — we compete in global markets for talent. If we’re to act in the best interests of our shareholders we have to ensure that we have the best people in the firm.’’

But Barclays’s decision to raise staff bonuses for 2013 despite lower revenue and profit prompted a backlash.

“It cannot be right in any business for the executive bonus pool to be nearly three times bigger than the total dividend pay out to the company’s owners,” Roger Barker, director of corporate governance at the Institution of Directors, told the Wall Street Journal.

“In 2013, the bank paid out £859 million ($1.4 billıon) in dividends compared to a staff bonus pool of £2.38 billion ($3.9 billion). The question must be asked—for whom is this institution being run?”

Shares in Barclays declined over 5% in London-listed trading following the firm`s results.

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