Barclays to ax up to 12,000 jobs amid investor anger

Barclays 'in best position' in a long time?

Top investors in Barclays have told CNBC that they are increasingly frustrated with the bank's chief executive Antony Jenkins, as the U.K. lender released its full-year earnings on Tuesday and prepares to cut up to 12,000 jobs.

The disquiet emerged after the lender decided to release its headline annual results a day early on the back of fears there had been a high-level leak at the bank.

"Antony Jenkins is increasingly running out of time," said one top 10 shareholder.

(Read More: Barclays to announce $8.5 billion adjusted profit)

Investors said much of the frustration stemmed from a rising bonus pool. On Tuesday, the bank announced that its investment bank's compensation to income ratio - a measurement of how much of its earnings it pays out in salary and bonuses — rose to 43.2 percent. However, it also announced that it was "committed" in cutting this ratio going forward.

Jenkins said on Tuesday morning that the bonus increase was as result of the bank's intention to pay competitively to have the right people to drive returns.

He also said the bank would cut between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs this year, 7,000 of which in the U.K. About half of the affected staff in the U.K. had been notified.

"At Barclays we believe in paying for performance and paying competitively," Jenkins told an analysts call Tuesday.

"We begin 2014 in a healthier position,"he added. "We have put a lot of legacy issues behind us. We have every reason to feel positive about our results."

Investment banking revenues have struggled in the last year in line with peers. But even in October Barclays said that its compensation ratio rose from 40 percent to 41 percent during the first nine months of the year.

"It is unclear why in aggregate it is necessary to pay bigger bonuses on falling profits," said another shareholder.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

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A statement released on Monday - preannouncing its top line figures for 2013 - was the second unscheduled update from Barclays in two weeks. On January 29 it said there was an additional £330 million in restructuring and litigation costs. Over the weekend, the bank was hit with another scandal as reports emerged that customer data was being sold to unscrupulous brokers.

"It's an unconvincing performance," said another investor, who added that a lot of leeway had been afforded to Jenkins at the time of last year's £5.8 billion rights issue.

"He let the regulator get the best of him and he seems unable to control the investment bank – that's skating on thin ice," said an investor.

Tuesday saw Barclays release its full-year results after Monday's disclosure. Net profit for the year came in at £540 million against a net loss of £624 million for 2012. It also said that its adjusted pre-tax profits had slipped 32 percent to £5.16  billion, below analyst expectations. Income at its investment bank was down 9 percent to £10,7 billion.

It also expects to improve its leverage ratio to at least 3.5 percent by the end of 2014 adding that it remained committed to a 40 to 50 percent dividend payout over time. Shares fell lower by nearly 6 percent in early afternoon trade on Tuesday.

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