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GREED APART; Fury as Barclays 'magnificent seven' pocket pounds 150m windfall.

Byline: CLINTON MANNING

THEY begged us to stop bashing them over obscene bonuses and were urged to curb the greed.

But a bunch of selfish bankers have waltzed off with pounds 150million in payouts, at a time when the rest of the country is facing savage cuts to public services, job losses and a bleak future.

The "magnificent seven" from Barclays were among 230 "key risk takers" who shared a pounds 554million bonanza in 2010, an average of pounds 2.4million each, from schemes, some dating back five years.

Biggest winner was Bob Diamond, the "casino" banker promoted to the post of chief executive at the start of the year.

The avid Chelsea fan, who sparked fury earlier this year when he said the "period of remorse and apology" was over for the banks' part in the financial crisis, is more than pounds 30million richer, putting him at the top of the Premier League for bankers' pay.

His pounds 250,000 salary was topped up with a pounds 6.5million bonus for last year.

The move comes as Barclays chairman Sir Richard Broadbent insisted the bank had met its commitments to the Government to "show responsibility" on pay under the Merlin agreement.

But Unison union general secretary Dave Prentis lashed out at the monopoly payouts. He said: "At a time when public sector workers are facing pay freezes, jobs are being lost and inflation is rising, bankers still get huge bonuses.

"Bob Diamond's pounds 6.5million bonus could pay for more than 200 trained social workers or nurses for a year.

"The time for remorse is far from over.

We want to see the bankers accepting that they must contribute to paying off the debt they caused.

"Taxing just half of the bankers' bonuses for one year could keep the threatened Sure Start centres open and cover the Education Maintenance Allowance for five years."

Unite chief Len McCluskey added: "Bob Diamond tries to convince taxpayers the era of remorse within banking is over, yet he has no shame in pocketing a seven figure bonus.

"This reported bonus demonstrates the failure of Project Merlin to bring restraint to the culture of greed within the top of our banks." Barclays' 18-page remuneration report reveals Mr Diamond, who helped boost profits by a third to pounds 6billion, was awarded pounds 2.25million of shares under a long-term bonus scheme. He also got pounds 7.3million of shares from two more schemes over time. A separate announcement, showed he was able to cash pounds 14million worth of shares last week, from bonuses clocked up during the boom years before the credit crunch.

The report also reveals his basic salary, which has not increased since 1999, will rocket from pounds 250,000 to pounds 1.35million from April, a 440% rise.

The other six Barclays chiefs to reap the rewards were Jerry del Missier, Rich Ricci, Tom Kalaris, Antony Jenkins, John Varley and Robert Le Blanc. Del Missier and Ricci shared a pounds 28million last year. They were also handed pounds 63million worth of shares from bonuses schemes in the boom years.

Kalaris, head of Barclays Wealth, made a near pounds 9million killing last year plus pounds 5million from the past schemes.

Barclays Global Retail Bank chief Jenkins pocketed pounds 8.2million including shares schemes while head of risk Robert Le Blanc made just over pounds 6.5million. Varley, who retired as chief executive last year, had a pay rise from pounds 1.1million to pounds 3.85million in 2009 when bosses waived their bonuses.

The report shows the bank put pounds 1.2million into his pension pot last year boosting it to more than pounds 18million - giving him pounds 645,000 a year to live on. The payouts are a combination of last year's awards and other schemes that date back years. They include pay and bonuses. Sir Richard said they were based on financial performance, risk, industry rivals and regulation.

Speaking of Merlin, he added: "The aim is to achieve a balance between delivering market competitive remuneration to retain top talent and optimising shareholder returns."

Voice of The Mirror: Page 10

The men behind the money

ROBERT LE BLANC (Head of Risk)

Joined the company in 2002 from JP Morgan. Had no complaints in November at rules restricting guaranteed bonuses. The British/Canadian banker said: "We have no problems attracting talent."

ANTONY JENKINS (Chief exec Global Retail Bank)

Masters in PPE from Oxford University. A married father of two, he started at Barclays in 1983.

TOM KALARIS (Chief exec Barclays Wealth)

The American urges his staff to read books about empire-building and military tactics. Ordered pizza for 1,000 employees during the World Cup.

JERRY DEL MISSIER (Co-chief executive of Barclays Corporate and Investment)

The Canadian helped mastermind the partial buy-out of failed bank Lehmans.

JOHN VARLEY (Former chief executive)

The 54-year-old handed over the reins to Bob Diamond on January 1 but still gets a bonus. The father of two has a home in Hammersmith, London, and a country house in Hampshire.

RICH RICCI (Co-chief executive of Barclays Capital)

Joined Barclays Capital in 1994. Owns a string of race horses with his wife Susannah.

WANTED

pounds 7MILLION Robert Le Blanc

WANTED

pounds 44MILLION Rich Ricci

WANTED

pounds 14MILLION Tom Kalaris

WANTED

pounds 30MILLION Bob Diamond

WANTED

pounds 47MILLION Jerry del Missier

WANTED

pounds 8MILLION Antony Jenkins

WANTED

pounds 4MILLION John Varley

CAPTION(S):

WINNER Barclays boss Bob Diamond is quids in
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2011
Words:909
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