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Barclays caps bonuses at £65,000

Bank said that bonuses for each employee were down 21% to £15,200, and down 30% to £64,000 in its investment banking division

Barclays announced on Friday that it was capping cash bonuses at £65,000 as it reported a 3% fall in profits to £5.9bn. The bank also admitted it may miss the targets it had set itself for making returns to shareholders.

Providing more detail about bonuses than usual, the bank said that the value of bonus per group employee was down 21% year on year to £15,200, while the average value of bonus per employee at Barclays Capital, its investment banking arm, was down 30% to £64,000 – just below the value of the cap.

The bank said that annual bonuses for executives and its eight highest paid employees were down 48%. Chief executive Bob Diamond received a bonus in shares of £1.8m in 2010 so, if he is in line with the average, this might indicate that his bonus would be around £900,000.

Barclays shares were down 3% at 225.9p in early trading.

But the bank admitted that its return on equity was just 6.6% in 2011 – down from 8.8% the year before and well below the target of 13% set by Diamond.

“Since setting the target the worse than predicted macro economic conditions, in addition to new regulatory constraints, mean that we may not be able to deliver 13% returns by 2013,” the bank said.

“We are not satisfied with the return on equity we delivered in 2011 and are committed to delivering steady improvement moving forwards. Our rock solid capital, liquidity and funding positions provide us with the flexibility and confidence to meet the economic and regulatory challenges ahead,” Diamond added.

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