Home Inverness colorado loans Barclays freezes ex-boss stock bonuses amid investigation into Epstein links

Barclays freezes ex-boss stock bonuses amid investigation into Epstein links

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Barclays has frozen millions of pounds in bonus share awards given to former boss Jes Staley as part of an investigation into his relationship with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (Barclays/PA)

Barclays has frozen millions of pounds in free share awards to former boss Jes Staley as part of an investigation into his relationship with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The banking giant’s annual report revealed that it had suspended all unvested long-term free share awards to Mr Staley pending regulatory investigation.

He said nearly 70% of those stock awards granted since his appointment in 2015 remain unvested.

Mr Staley resigned last November to challenge findings by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority on how he represented his relationship with Epstein to the bank.

He still receives his contractual right to £2.4 million in cash and shares – the equivalent of 12 months fixed salary – as well as a retirement allowance and other undisclosed benefits.

The bank said: “In accordance with its normal procedures, the committee has exercised its discretion to suspend the vesting of all of Mr. Staley’s unearned awards, pending further developments regarding regulatory and legal proceedings relating to the Financial Conduct Authority and ongoing prudential regulation Authorities investigation into Mr Staley.

It came as Barclays revealed pre-tax profits soared to £8.4billion in 2021 after freeing up cash set aside for pandemic loan losses and posting record revenues for investment banks.

The banking giant more than doubled its profit to £3.1bn in 2020 thanks to the release of £653m of provisions for bad debts, against £4.8bn set aside for losses on Covid loans the previous year.

The better-than-expected results also showed the group’s corporate and investment banking division recorded its highest-ever pre-tax profit of £5.8bn for the year, down from £4bn. in 2020.

Its annual report showed Barclays had increased its staff bonus pot to £1.9bn, from £1.6bn in 2020.

The group also announced its first female chief financial officer, appointing deputy group chief financial officer Anna Cross to the role from April 23.

She will succeed Tushar Morzaria, who is retiring after more than eight years in the role, and becomes the first woman to hold one of the bank’s three main board positions.

2021 is the year Barclays demonstrated the results of the strategy we set out in 2016

General Manager CS Venkatakrishnan

The figures come after a difficult year for the bank, with new chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan appointed last November following the surprise resignation of Mr Staley.

Mr Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, said: “2021 is the year Barclays has demonstrated the results of the strategy we set out in 2016.”

He added: “I am proud that we have achieved this resilient performance while continuing to support our clients and customers through another year of Covid-19 challenges.

“We recognize that the economic environment is more uncertain than usual, with rising inflation rates and tighter monetary policy, while many parts of society continue to recover from the severe social and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”