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Stephen Archer is a speaker with great charisma. By using illustrations and personal experiences and not being afraid to share his own point of view of the current situation and who is to blame for it, he engages the whole audience, at the same time helping us all to understand the credit crunch a little better.

— Warwick Business School

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Barclays – A sparkling Jewel or an indulgent Diamond?

When a new CEO is announced with a package of circa £11m then, even in buoyant times, there will be raised eyebrows and widespread distaste. What is too much earnings? Well in the UK, £11m is way more than any man needs – so it is excessive and as a shareholder I would challenge it unless there was a reasonable causal relationship between his performance and the bank’s.

However, in fact his salary is only £1.32m which is not excessive in the banking sector. The rest is performance based so let’s stay calm about his package.

The media and Vince Cable are worried that he is some kind of gambling fiend who will bet the bank and lead the government to potentially bail them out if it all goes wrong.

This anxiety and public cry sounding like ‘they are all witches – burn them’ is predictable – especially with the reputation that investment bankers have in the wider society. The facts are that Barclays has 147,000 employees and earns huge money to the wider benefit the UK economy – right across its business. The investment banking side contains more potential for risk but even that is only potential.

My only concern for Barclays is the same as that for all banks. Is governance sufficient, can regulation make it safe and can we sleep at night without separating the investment from the retail banking arms? These are the germane questions – Diamond’s income should also be linked to his ability to answer these questions and perform with probity and safety.


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