Barclays to Unveil Numbers Earning 1 Million

Barclays Bank
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Barclays is set to reveal the number of staff who earned above 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) last year, in a push for transparency that could turn the bank into a trailblazer for the sector.

In its annual report next week, the British retail and investment bank will for the first time give an outline of the various pay brackets among its 140,000 staff, people close to the situation said.

Analysts estimate that between 600 and 700 employees – mostly in the investment bank – will be revealed as having taken home more than 1 million pounds last year.

While the move threatens to reignite a political debate about bankers' pay levels, it is part of a drive by chairman Sir David Walker to repair Barclays' battered image and improve its disclosure to investors and the wider public.

Sir David, who succeeded Marcus Agius in the wake of the fine paid by the bank over the manipulation of Libor last year, has for long been an advocate of greater transparency on pay levels.

It comes as Antony Jenkins, who replaced Bob Diamond as chief executive amid the Libor scandal, has promised to turn Barclays into a bank that is "doing well financially and behaving well".

The bank announced two weeks ago that it had cut the 2012 bonus pool for its investment bankers by 15 percent to 1.3 billion pounds. Analysts said the disclosure of hundreds of its highest earning bankers could turn Barclays into a trailblazer for banking pay transparency.

So far, European banks are only forced to reveal the salaries of their code staff, which are vaguely defined as key managers and takers of risk.

The actual number of people included in that group varies at large European banks from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on the definition of regulators in each country.

At Barclays, 238 code staff were each paid an average of 1.2 million pounds for 2011. The bank last year caused a shareholder outcry when it emerged that Mr Diamond received close to 25 million pounds in total pay, including a 5.75 million payment to compensate for a tax bill.

Mr Jenkins, who told shareholders he is "prepared to be aggressive" on pay levels, sought to prevent any debate about his pay by pledging to forego his bonus for last year in the wake of the various scandals that engulfed Barclays during that period.

In the past year, Barclays' ratio between overall pay and revenues – a measure that is being closely looked at by investors – fell from 42 to 38 percent.