Today Barclays is expected to announce a bonus pool of £1.852bn, despite pre-tax profits plummeting from £5.9 billion to £246 milllion.
The move will inevitably reignite public anger over excessive pay at Barclays after a year in which the bank was fined £290 million for rigging Libor and has been mired in a string of scandals, ranging from mis-selling to structuring aggressive tax avoidance schemes.
This bumper bonus pool is an outrageous reward for failure in a year that can only be described as the most shameful in Barclays’ 323 year history.
Antony Jenkins, the man charged with cleaning up the bank’s tarnished image after the resignation of disgraced former CEO Bob Diamond, will be laying out Barclays’ new strategy to create a “socially useful bank”, dubbed 'Project Transform’.
However, many insiders say that the reforms will prove to be largely cosmetic, focusing on cutting costs and streamlining the more controversial units such as those involved in tax structuring and commodity markets. This contrasts sharply with the slash-and-burn reforms advocated by senior regulators, such as the former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King.
How can customers have confidence in Jenkins’ claim to be building a ‘better bank for customers and Britain’ whilst he continues to sweep bad news under the carpet and refuses to implement the fundamental changes needed?