LONDON, April 8 Barclays Plc shareholders should oppose the British bank's bonus payouts for last year and its controversial plan to make extra payments to staff, a shareholder advisory group said on Tuesday.
Pirc, an independent group that says it offers advice to institutional investors with assets of more than 1.5 trillion pounds ($2.5 trillion), said shareholders should reject Barclays' remuneration report at their annual meeting later this month.
Barclays angered several shareholders after raising its bonus payouts for staff by 10 percent last year, despite a one-third drop in profits, and pressure is building on Chief Executive Antony Jenkins to rein in pay at the bank.
"There are several concerns with Barclays' remuneration policy," Pirc said. "The most significant one relates to the way the bank has circumvented the spirit of the ... regulations by creating another fixed component of the remuneration package."
Barclays declined comment.
EU banks can only pay bonuses to staff equivalent to their fixed pay under new rules brought in this year, or twice the amount if shareholders give approval. Barclays and several other banks have introduced "allowances" as a type of fixed pay to replace bonuses, which critics say goes against the spirit of the EU regulations.
Pirc said its "strongly recommends" shareholders oppose the bank's plan to allow bonuses of 200 percent of fixed pay.
Barclays' shareholder meeting will be held on April 24.
Investors do not have a vote on overall pay levels at banks, but some have said they may voice their dissatisfaction by voting down remuneration for executives. Shareholders in British companies have a binding vote on directors' pay. ($1 = 0.5970 British Pounds) (Editing by David Holmes)