Former Barclays pay chief: I said no to bonus for Bob Diamond

By Vicki Owen


The woman who chaired Barclays’ pay committee and was the only member to vote against chief executive Bob Diamond’s last bonus of £2.7million has told Financial Mail: ‘History tells me I was right’.

Alison Carnwath said the public had a right to be outraged at the size of bankers’ bonuses.

In an interview with Financial Mail, Carnwath, who has since left the bank, said colleagues on the pay committee had argued against her.

'He's gone now so history tells me I was right': Bob Diamond, formerly of Barclays

'He's gone now so history tells me I was right': Bob Diamond, formerly of Barclays

She said: ‘My colleagues felt that Diamond had performed well.

'Some of that is true, but he’s gone now so history tells me I was right.’

Her comments come amid fresh criticism of Barclays this weekend after it announced that 428 of its staff were each paid £1 million or more in 2012, with five receiving more than £5 million each.

On Friday, Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said 93 staff were paid £1 million or more for 2012. Its board and top eight executives were paid a total of £21 million.


The chief executives of both banks have waived their bonuses for 2012.

Carnwath, who now heads property group Land Securities, said she agreed with the public’s fury over bank pay, but warned against a blanket condemnation of high pay.

‘I don’t think that translates across the whole of British industry to say everyone’s overpaid,’ she said.

‘A lot of people, if they don’t like working here, can go and work in Norway, Sweden or South America.

‘Talented people are very mobile these days. They run very large, complex businesses and they will want to be well paid.

‘And as long as they perform, they should be well paid.’