Barclays Announce £18m Windfall For Investment Banking Chief, On Day Of The Budget

Barclays investment banking chief Rich Ricci landed an £18 million windfall today after the bank handed out mammoth share awards to top bosses.

Ricci's multimillion-pound pay day came as he sold a 5.7 million tranche of shares given to him by the bank for previous annual bonuses and long-term incentive schemes, despite waiving a bonus for 2012.

Barclays investment banking chief Rich Ricci

The timing of the announcement which coincided with the Budget attracted criticism, although Barclays claimed it planned Wednesday's release months before the Chancellor set the date.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins, who also agreed not to take a bonus for last year, picked up 1.8 million shares worth £6 million and immediately sold half - netting him £2.9 million.

This follows a £2.6 million total pay package paid to Jenkins last year, including a £1.5 million long-term incentive bonus due to pay out in future years if he meets performance targets.

Nine executives in total received share fortunes worth a combined £40 million in what is likely to stoke further controversy over pay deals at the bank following its Libor rate rigging scandal and mis-selling controversies.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the Barclays share awards make a "complete mockery of any claims that banks are cleaning up their acts when it comes to bonuses".

He added: "Staff in branches and call centres up and down the country want to get on but many continue to struggle on low pay.

"Meanwhile, senior bankers who were at or near the helm during the scandals that have rocked Britain's banks behave like nothing has changed."

Details of the share awards come after Barclays revealed in its annual report earlier this month that 428 workers were paid more than £1 million last year, including five who got more than £5 million despite a year of scandal and falling profits.

The payouts to bosses come less than nine months after the bank was fined £290m for its role in the Libor-fixing scandal.

The report also highlighted a widening pay gap at the bank as it showed there were more than 71,500 staff who received less than £25,000 last year.

Barclays stressed that today's share awards were for deferred annual bonus payouts from previous years and long-term incentive schemes.

A Barclays spokesman said: "Barclays has revised its remuneration policy and all future incentive awards, short and long-term, will be based on the new principles that have been set out."

Barclays added that the sale of shares by Mr Jenkins today was made to meet tax liabilities on the award.