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Profits down, dividend cut, share price falls

"Financial services with integrity".

There's plenty to like about the motto of the new man at the top of Barclays (and he is a highly likable man), but Jes Staley will be judged on actions not words.

Today was about Barclays results, but also Staley's vision for a more prosperous future - Barclays is being restructured, made simpler.

Much of the bank's business in Africa is to follow the retail operations in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy out of the door.

The bank will focus on its British business - which services 14 million people and nearly one million companies - as well as its investment bank, split between London and New York.

Simpler sounds better, but Barclays shares tumbled this morning.

The dividend has been cut in half for the next two years, a move that will leave the bank better off and shareholders worse off to the tune of £1 billion.

No such restraint when it comes to bonuses, however.

Antony Jenkins, who was sacked last summer, has been handed a discretionary pay award of £505,000.

For what exactly? It looks rather like an admission that Jenkins was doing a pretty good job.

Barclays bonus pool (£1.7 billion) is shrinking, but the lion's share of the bonuses are headed for the worst performing part of the business.

The investment bank delivered a fifth of Barclays' profits but hoovers up two thirds of the bonuses. 323 people at Barclays earned more than £1 million in 2015.

"It's not about fairness, we've got to be competitive," explains Staley.

He's standing by staff at the investment bank - they had better raise their game.

On the issue of pay more broadly, Staley talks with passion about his determination that Barclays support the economic recovery in Britain and "help to lift all boats".

But his conviction that income inequality is "something society needs to address" was somewhat undermined by his admission that he doesn't know what the average person in Britain earns (see clip above).

Average pay in Britain stands at £28,000 a year.

If Barclays hits all the high notes under Staley, he stands to earn up to £8.25 million a year.

Britain's biggest banks are being forced to comply with new regulations Credit: PA

Lord Mervyn King recently described the economic recovery as "neither strong, nor sustainable, nor upbeat".

Jes Staley is more optimistic.

He also doesn't share King's view that reform of the banking system has been underdone: "Significant, necessary, well managed" is his assessment.

Britain's biggest banks are being forced to comply with new regulations designed to protect the taxpayer should they run into trouble in future.

Interestingly, Staley told me that the Senior Managers Regime, which soon comes into force and is designed to make executives more accountable for their actions, contributed to the departure of Tom King as head of Barclay's investment bank.

Barclays is still paying fines and compensation for past abuses.

The chairman, John McFarlane, complains the punishment is “disproportionate” but there’s more to come.

The list of unresolved conduct issues is in the bank's annual report. It's a long one.

Jes Staley believed it will be "beyond 2017" before they are settled.