24th June 2024

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Business Industry and Financial

Some Low-Performing Bankers Are Getting $0 Bonuses This Year

  • Barclays plans to cut bonuses for underperforming investment bankers amid a capital markets slump.
  • The plan could lead to more departures after pay cuts and restructuring shook the bank.
  • Barclays’ stock has lagged behind rivals, which some say is due to its bloated investment banking arm.

Dozens of investment bankers at Barclays might have to go without bonuses this year.

Barclays, facing a slump in capital markets activity, is expected to cut payouts for its lowest-performing bankers, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Barclays declined a request for comment from Business Insider.

The company has not yet publicly announced the size of its 2023 bonus pool. Last year, it offered £1.79 million in incentive compensation, or about $2.21 million, to its staff — a drop from the £1.95 million, or $2.4 million, it offered the year before.

If true, it would be another bump in the road for Barclays, which has struggled to retain talent. Early last year, the firm saw the exodus of more than 30 of its roughly 200 managing directors, according to The Wall Street Journal. Those departures were spurred by a shake-up in Barclays’ investment banking arm, which included pay cuts as high as 40% for some managing directors. The firm also backtracked on verbal guarantees for pay levels for some new hires.

A similar crisis occurred in 2019 after the head of the investment banking unit stepped down unexpectedly.

Executives at the bank are now concerned that the bonus cuts may be the catalyst for another mass exodus, Bloomberg reported.

Paul Compton, head of Barclays’ investment banking arm, warned his staff in November that their division was burning through too much capital relative to other parts of the bank, Bloomberg reported. Shareholders and the bank’s own executives have also cited the size of the division as a reason Barclays’ stock price is lagging behind competitors like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase.

Barclays also announced Friday it was acquiring the banking arm of British supermarket chain Tesco for about £600 million, or $757 million.