Announcing sharply lower profits at its investment banking division, Britain’s Barclays said it was cutting the total of bonuses it is paying to its investment bankers by a third.
That was not enough to satisfy some angry customers who turned out in demonstrations in several UK cities urging people to move their accounts away from Barclays in protest.
One said: “They take the money from us retail lenders and they gamble it, and then they reward themselves when they do well, and they seem to reward themselves when they do badly.”
Barclays is still paying out a total of the equivalent of 1.8 billion euros in bonuses, but banking expert Alastair Blair, who heads consultancy Accenture’s Banking Practice department said the industry is changing: “I think we’re on a path whereby bonuses have been and will continue to track profitability and I think the other fact that is often missed is the fact that the cash element of bonuses now is markedly smaller than it has been heretofore.”
But the Association of British Insurers — which represents major investors — is not satisfied and wants UK banks to cut pay to deliver better returns shareholders.
Barclays said it was balancing being competitive and being responsive to the public mood.