Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Barclays to disclose pay details of its staff

The Guardian reports that Barclays is going to disclose the pay details for all of its 140,000 employees.

Barclays is expected to reveal next week that hundreds of its staff are paid more than £1m, in the most detailed disclosure yet about how much its 140,000 employees take home each year. 
In a move that could force rival banks to follow suit, Barclays is preparing to report how much its staff earn through a wide range of pay scales, shedding light on the pay of its lowest and highest paid staff.
Please re-read the highlighted text as transparency always results in a race to the top.  Banks that do not provide an equal level of transparency are seen as hiding something.
Under the direction of chairman Sir David Walker, Barclays is to adopt a new way of providing information about pay when it publishes its annual report next week, potentially re-igniting the row over the high bonuses handed out in the City.... 
In 2009, Walker was commissioned by the Labour government to review standards in banking following the bank bailouts and called for pay to be disclosed in bands above £1m. But when the coalition came to power in 2010 he had backed down, saying such a move needed international cooperation. Walkers' brackets for bands at the time of his 2009 report were £1m to £2.5m, £2.5m to £5m and in bands of £5m thereafter. The recipients were not to be named. 
He appears to be going further in the disclosures that will be made by Barclays by including the lowest pay grades. Shortly after his appointment to the bank's board in September he was the first witness at the parliamentary commission on banking standards and called for more disclosure of bankers' pay, suggesting that the pay of the top "50 to 100" highest paid bankers should be released
Under UK rules banks are required to publish the pay of all boardroom directors. Since the financial crisis banks have been required to disclose the pay of the five highest paid staff reporting to the chief executive although this has now been increased to the eight highest paid staff. 
Other rules require banks to publish information about the number of "code staff" – those responsible for managing and taking risks – and broad details about how they are paid. 
It is remarkable how little transparency there is whenever the regulators get involved in setting complex rules.

No wonder the market cannot exert discipline on banker pay.  It is really hard to exert discipline when there is essentially zero useful information.

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