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Credit card gaffe banker doubles salary to pounds 3.9m.

Byline: DAVID WINNING

THE banking chief criticised for a gaffe over borrowing by credit card is to double his annual pay package to pounds 3.9m,it emerged yesterday.

Barclays chief executive Matthew Barrett, who said he would never borrow by credit card because it was too expensive, will earn pounds 3.1min pay and bonuses for 2003.

As a reward for leading the bank to profits of pounds 3.84bn last year,Mr Barrett will also pick up share options worth pounds 831,000 -four times the amount he collected in 2002.

And according to its annual reports and accounts,Mr Barrett will also receive a pounds 990,000 top-up to his pension fund.

The pay arrangements drew criticism from unions while the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) wanted evidence that the rises were sufficiently tied to performance targets.

NAPF joined a shareholder rebellion last year over the pay deal for the chief executive, which included a ``golden parachute'' clause that entitled him to twice his annual package in the event of a change of control.

A spokesman for Unifi, which represents workers at the bank, said yesterday: ``Staff at Barclays will have difficulty reconciling their pay increase this year with that of Matthew Barrett.''

But a Barclays spokesman defended the pay package, pointing out that Mr Barrett had not received an increase in his basic pay of pounds 1.1mlast year.

The hike in bonuses reflected improved performance at the bank and this was the basis for judging the pay of every member of staff, she said.

Share options were awarded to directors after the performance of Barclays was measured against 11 major rivals including HSBC,Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank.

The spokesman said: ``The past four years have been the most profitable in Barclays' history.

``Since Matthew Barrett has been there,he's transformed the bank from an underperformer into one of the best in the world in terms of shareholder value.'' Mr Barrett was criticised last year after telling the Treasury Select Committee he did not use a Barclaycard to borrow money because it was too expensive.

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Matthew Barrett will earn pounds 3.1min pay and bonuses for 2003
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 25, 2004
Words:367
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