(Updates with details of Qatar probe in fifth paragraph.)
Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins said he won’t take a bonus for 2012 after a series of regulatory mis-steps including a fine for attempting to rig global interest rates.
“The year just past was clearly a very difficult one for Barclays and its stakeholders, with multiple issues of our own making besetting the bank,” Jenkins, 51, said in a statement today. “I think it only right that I bear an appropriate degree of accountability.”
Jenkins was in line for a bonus of at least 1 million pounds ($1.6 million), the Guardian newspaper reported on Jan. 29. Barclays Compensation Committee Chairman John Sunderland told U.K. lawmakers on Jan. 30 that reports about his bonus were “speculation.” His former counterpart Alison Carnwath the same day said former CEO Robert Diamond was reluctant to tackle “obscene” levels of pay at the bank.
Barclays was fined a record 290 million pounds in June for attempting to manipulate the London interbank offered rate and other benchmark interest rates, with the lender’s three top executives, including Diamond, departing after criticism by bank supervisors and politicians.
U.K. regulators are examining allegations that Barclays lent Qatar money to invest in the bank’s own shares during the financial crisis in 2008, the Financial Times reported today, citing two unidentified people familiar with the matter. The Financial Services Authority and Serious Fraud Office are probing the alleged loan, the newspaper said. A Barclays spokesman declined to comment today.
The bank is being investigated by the SFO for fees it paid in 2008 to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as the lender sought money to avoid a government bailout, the bank said in August.
Jenkins follows Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc CEO Stephen Hester, who said in June that he won’t seek a bonus after a computer failure left some of the lender’s 17 million customers unable to withdraw cash for weeks. Hester, who became CEO of Britain’s biggest government-owned bank in 2008, didn’t take his 963,000-pound bonus for 2011 amid pressure from lawmakers after shares of the lender slumped.
It hasn’t been disclosed whether the heads of other U.K. banks will be paid bonuses this year.
HSBC Holdings Plc executives including CEO Stuart Gulliver didn’t receive the maximum discretionary bonus available to them for 2011 for reasons including the bank’s improper sale of payment protection insurance in the U.K. and the advice given to elderly customers on products to fund nursing-home costs.
Lloyds Banking Group Plc CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio waived his 2011 bonus in January 2012 to reflect the London-based bank’s performance and his nine-week absence in 2011 for exhaustion.
--Editors: Simone Meier, Jon Menon