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Barclays bank chief Antony Jenkins to waive bonus

image captionLast month Antony Jenkins told staff to sign up to a new code of conduct

The chief executive of Barclays bank, Antony Jenkins, is to waive his bonus for last year.

He said it would be wrong for him to receive a bonus, given what had been a "difficult" year for Barclays.

It is thought Mr Jenkins was in line to receive about £1m of a potential maximum entitlement of £2.75m.

Mr Jenkins took over as chief executive last August, just as Barclays was being rocked over mis-selling scandals and other issues.

He said in a statement: "To avoid further unnecessary public debate on this matter, I wish to make clear that I concluded early this week that I do not wish to be considered for a bonus award for 2012 and I have communicated that decision to the board.

"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.

media captionGeorge Osborne says bankers need to be "sensible" about their pay

"I think it only right that I bear an appropriate degree of accountability for those matters and I have concluded that it would be wrong for me to receive a bonus for 2012 given those circumstances."

Mr Jenkins' total potential pay package, including pension, basic salary, and incentives, was £8.6m.

Banks are currently reviewing the size of bonuses for senior staff, and there were reports this week that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 82% owned by the government, will set aside £250m for payments. Last year, RBS's chief executive, Stephen Hester, waived his bonus for 2011 and in June said he would not take a bonus for 2012.

Chancellor George Osborne told the BBC chief economics correspondent, Hugh Pym, that he welcomed Mr Jenkins' announcement.

Mr Osborne said: "All the banks need to understand it is a very difficult economic environment out there, that they have to be very sensible about their pay this year given that."

Commenting on the bonus situation for senior employees at RBS, the chancellor added: "Stephen Hester, the chief executive of RBS, has already decided not to take his bonus.

"I think RBS need to pay attention to the times we live in, and I'm confident they will."

Sign up, or resign

Barclays hit trouble last June, when it was fined £290m by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.

The scandal sparked the resignations of three Barclays senior board members, including ex-chief executive Bob Diamond. He was replaced by Mr Jenkins, who was formerly head of retail and business banking.

Barclays has also set aside £2bn to compensate customers for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

On Friday, Barclays faced new claims that UK financial regulators were investigating the bank over money received from Qatar.

The Financial Times alleged that Barclays lent Qatar money to invest in the bank in 2008. Barclays was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Mr Jenkins ordered all Barclays staff to sign up to a new ethical code of conduct or quit.

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