BARCLAYS is considering clawing back part of its executives’ bonuses over the bank’s £1bn mis-selling of insurance, chief executive Bob Diamond was forced to admit yesterday.
After a testy exchange with Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the influential Treasury select committee of MPs, Diamond eventually conceded: “We are taking into account in our businesses that impact [of mis-selling payment protection insurance] in our remuneration.”
The move follows Lloyds’ decision to look at getting back some of the awards awarded to former chief executive Eric Daniels due to the PPI scandal, which will cost the bank £3.2bn.
Tyrie also asked Diamond about whether he agreed with a recent letter by a shareholder group decrying bankers’ levels of pay compared to dividend payments.
“I don’t think it’s a question of agree or disagree,” said Diamond.
“You would agree it’s quite difficult to get straight answers, wouldn’t you?” said Tyrie after further questioning.
Diamond, who said it was “disappointing” to be asked again about pay at an inquiry into the Vickers Commission, eventually responded simply with: “Apologies.”
During the session, Diamond also criticised the government’s bank levy, saying it “creates an unlevel playing field” internationally.
That was a stance supported by Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands, who was also questioned by MPs.
“The strength of the argument [to redomicile out of the UK] has grown,” said Sands. “Things like the increase in the bank levy aren’t helpful.”
He added: “We would be welcome – or so we understand – in many parts of the world... We get asked about domicile in almost every single investor meeting.”