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Barclays will defer rewards

SENIOR Barclays figures including chief executive John Varley and president Bob Diamond will have their bonuses deferred over three years.

In a move to pre-empt public outcry over bumper payouts, Barclays’ 11-strong executive committee and other top staff will take their bonuses mostly in shares, up to 100 per cent of which will be staggered until 2013. The next 2,000 staff will see around 75 per cent of their bonuses deferred, it is understood, while the bank’s remaining 128,000 employees will have a 50 per cent deferral rate.

The news follows a review of salary structures by independent director Sir Richard Broadbent undertaken in the autumn. It comes after President Barack Obama announced a set of draconian measures on Wall Street.

Last Thursday, Barclays chairman Marcus Agius said this year’s pay round would be “very different from anything we have seen before”.

He added: “There is a huge amount of public anger, quite understandable, very justified. That has got to be accommodated.”

Barclays is due to unveil an estimated £10.5bn profit when it reports its year-end results on 16 February. Bonus allocations to senior executives will be published in March.

Deferred bonuses are expected to become a regular feature of Barclays staff’s remuneration packages rather than a one-off phenomenon. If deferral levels are maintained, with junior employees having half their bonuses spread over three years, the commitment will be tougher than requested by the G20 in autumn when world leaders asked banks to defer a minimum of 40 per cent of rewards.

Base salaries are expected to rise to readdress the balance.