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Martin Salter MP
"A triumph of greed over customer interests. Barclays are in the last chance saloon"
 real 28k

Thursday, 30 March, 2000, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK
Top salaries anger Barclays staff
Barclays chairman and chief executive
Sir Peter Middleton (left) and Matthew Barrett
The chairman of Barclays has seen his salary more than quadruple in one year.

According to the bank's annual report, Sir Peter Middleton was paid 408,000 in 1998 and 1.76m in 1999 - while new chief executive Matthew Barrett was paid 1.3m for just three months' work.

The timing of the disclosures, coming just nine days before the bank shuts 171 branches with the loss of 7,500 jobs, is potentially damaging for Barclays.

The bank says the huge increase in Sir Peter's pay reflects the dual role of chairman and chief executive he played after Martin Taylor's departure as chief executive.

It also points out that its top pay packages are profit-related.

As earnings were up 30% in 1999 at 2.5bn, it says, Sir Peter is entitled to the rewards, which are a one-off and will not be repeated this year.

"Obscene"

But the disclosure has been greeted with anger from union leaders and politicians.

Especially as Matthew Barrett, who joined in October, was also paid so much.

Roy Murphy, joint general secretary of the banking union, Unifi, said the pay awards were insensitive.

Martin Salter MP, chairman of the cross-party group on community banking, said those communities that will be severely affected by the planned branch closures will find the pay packages "little short of obscene".

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