Chief executive Antony Jenkins repeatedly reassured investors he is clamping down on bonuses, in his first annual general meeting since taking the top job.
“It is without doubt that, in Barclays and more widely in the banking industry, pay became excessive,” Jenkins said.
“Our board understands that and is determined to ensure shareholders receive an increased share of income.”
And he added the bank’s bonuses are now in the bottom 25 per cent of the industry.
Chairman Sir David Walker said the bank would consider publishing the full range of staff pay in future from top to bottom in an effort to improve transparency.
But the directors also warned shareholders they will have to be patient in waiting for good returns – Jenkins said return on equity will only exceed the cost of capital from 2015 at the earliest.