Share­holder group backs Bar­clays boss

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Grace Ham­mond NEWS RE­PORTER @york­shire­post

Under-fire Bar­clays boss Jes Sta­ley has re­ceived the back­ing of an in­flu­en­tial share­holder ad­vi­sory group, de­spite lin­ger­ing “con­cerns” over a mis­con­duct probe.

In­sti­tu­tional Share­holder Ser­vices (ISS) has rec­om­mended that in­vestors vote in favour of Mr Sta­ley’s re-elec­tion at the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on May 1, “even though it is not with­out con­cern for share­hold­ers”.

It cited Mr Sta­ley’s at­tempt to iden­tify a whistle­blower, which prompted a probe by the Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity and Pru­den­tial Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity in spring 2017. The bank’s pro­cesses were also placed under in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a re­sult.

How­ever, ISS said its back­ing for Mr Sta­ley was “war­ranted” given that both the com­pany and chief ex­ec­u­tive con­tin­ued to co-op­er­ate with au­thor­i­ties and that the bank had strength­ened its whistle­blow­ing pro­gramme.

The share­holder group also cited con­cerns around the “lack of any ac­tion on the CEO’s pay” af­ter the 61-year-old boss re­ceived a for­mal rep­ri­mand by the board, but was still rec­om­mend­ing that in­vestors vote in favour of Bar­clays’ re­mu­ner­a­tion re­port.

Bar­clays de­clined to com­ment. Mr Sta­ley’s mis­con­duct was the fo­cus of last year’s AGM when share­hold­ers fired a warn­ing shot at the bank­ing chief, with more than 16 per cent of votes cast fail­ing to back his re-elec­tion.

Nearly 14 per cent ab­stained and 2.4 per cent voted against – even as Mr Sta­ley is­sued an apol­ogy to share­hold­ers at the meet­ing.

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