Barclays appoints new pay chief

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File photo dated 05/02/13 of a branch of Barclays Bank. Barclays will close a quarter of its 1,600 branches in the UK and cut hundreds of investment banking jobs as it aims to slash costs to meet targets, it is reported. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday January 29, 2014. See PA story CITY Branches. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Barclays has announced a new director in charge of setting pay and bonuses as it moves to defuse a potential shareholder revolt at next week's AGM.

The bank, which paid out £2.38 billion in bonuses last year, said Crawford Gillies has been appointed to its board and will succeed Sir John Sunderland as chairman of its remuneration committee at a date to be set.

The switch comes amid anger over Barclays' decision to increase the bonus pool by 10% last year, despite a 32% fall in underlying profits and an earlier £6 billion fundraising in the City.

Shareholder lobby group Pirc last week recommended that its members oppose five resolutions at next Thursday's annual meeting in London, including the remuneration report and reappointment of Sir John.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins said recently that the pay and bonus awards were necessary in order to retain top talent in its investment banking arm.

Pirc is also unhappy that Mr Jenkins will get up to £1 million in share allowances on top of salary and bonuses to defy new European rules to cap payouts.

Mr Gillies has three decades of business experience, including with management consultants Bain & Company. Since 2007 he has been on the board of Standard Life, where he has chaired the remuneration committee.

Barclays chairman Sir David Walker said: "He brings immense experience in a range of different industries, including the financial services sector, in addition to a background in strategy and the public sector."

Sir John, who spent 40 years with Cadbury Schweppes, has been on the Barclays board since 2005.

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