Barclays CEO Won't Take a 2012 Bonus

Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barclays PLC.
Carl Court | AFP | Getty Images
Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barclays PLC.

New Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins has opted not to take a bonus for 2012, saying he should "bear an appropriate degree of accountability" for the difficult year his bank endured.

Jenkins, who became CEO in August, said he was aware of considerable speculation about his bonus so to avoid further unnecessary public debate decided this week that he did not want to be considered for an award on top of his base salary of 1.1 million pounds. He was entitled to an annual bonus of up to 2.75 million pounds ($4.36 million).

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Bankers' pay has become a political hot potato in Britain with lawmakers from all parties demanding a crackdown on bonus payments to appease a public which has become disenfranchised with its banks following the 2008 financial crisis.

Barclays is under particular pressure to show restraint this year after being fined $450 million for its part in a global interest rate rigging scandal and criticism that its culture and standards were too lax.

The bank has also, along with other banks, been plagued by mis-selling scandals in its retail business, which Jenkins ran before taking up the role of CEO following former Chief Executive Bob Diamond's departure.

Barclays is in the process of finalizing 2012 bonuses for staff. Overall pay for investment bankers is expected to be cut by up to a fifth.