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Barclays 'misleading shareholders' says pension body

Barclays Bank logo Image copyright PA
Image caption Barclays' profits were hit by provisions for possible future fines

A leading pension body has called for Sir John Sunderland, chair of Barclays' pay review committee, to resign.

It accuses the bank of "misleading shareholders" for saying before the 2014 annual general meeting (AGM) that Sir John would step down from the role to give way to Crawford Gillies.

Sir John is still in the post 11 months later, the LAPFF says.

Barclays said there had been no breach of promise and that Mr Gillies would succeed Sir John on 23rd April.

"There has been no breach of 'promise' and nor has Barclays acted in a way which is contrary to any statement we have made," a Barclays spokesperson said.

"Barclays made clear in an RNS [official announcement] on 15 April 2014 that Crawford Gillies would be joining the Board Remuneration Committee with effect from 1 May 2014, and would succeed Sir John Sunderland as Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee 'at a date to be agreed, consistent with ensuring a smooth transition'," the bank added in a statement.

Barclays was widely criticised by shareholders for its pay policy at the 2014 AGM.

In a strongly worded statement, LAPFF chair Kieran Quinn said: "It is inexplicable how Barclays can have gone back on its promise to the 2014 AGM that Sir John would step down.

"Having messed up remuneration for 2013 Sir John has in fact stayed on as chair and presided over another year of still unacceptably high pay for 2014, and is still in place in March 2015.

"It's nothing short of misleading shareholders."

Mr Quinn went on to say that Sir John's involvement in awarding "grossly excessive bonuses" and his support for former chief executive Bob Diamond, amongst other things, had been "disastrous for shareholder returns and the reputation of the bank".

Bonus culture

The LAPFF, which represents 64 public sector pension funds with combined assets of approximately £160bn, has been a strong critic of high levels of executive pay and the bonus culture.

Last week, Barclays reported a 21% fall in 2014 pre-tax profits to £2.26bn.

The bank also increased its provision to cover any fallout from a probe into currency market manipulation by £750m to £1.25bn.

Boss Antony Jenkins was awarded a £1.1m bonus - his first as chief executive.

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