Banking giant Barclays has posted record annual profits of £11.6 billion for 2009 as its two most senior bosses turned down bonuses for the second year in a row.
The pre-tax profits - 92 per cent ahead of 2008 - were buoyed by its investment banking arm and the sale of part of the business last year to raise funds.
But chief executive John Varley and president Bob Diamond have sacrificed payouts in the light of the “intense public interest and concern” over bankers’ pay, Barclays said.
Barclays said other top directors would take all their bonuses in shares over a three-year period and the payments would be subject to clawback.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and G20 principles on pay have also been put in place across the group as the bank seeks to rebuild trust in the banking sector which has been “significantly weakened by the events of the last three years”.
At Barclays Capital, the investment banking business where profits surged 89 per cent last year, the proportion of revenues paid out in salary and bonuses fell from 44 per cent to 38 per cent.
The bank said it had lent an extra £35 billion to the UK economy during 2009, far beyond its £11 billion pledge last April.
Chairman Marcus Agius said: “We believe that, when the behaviour of banks is assessed by their stakeholders to see whether we have genuinely learnt from the experiences of the last years, we will be judged mostly by how we conduct our business and, in particular today, by how we lend and how we pay.
“We know that the impact of the credit crunch and of the subsequent recession has made the lives of millions of citizens and thousands of businesses more difficult. We know that it’s our obligation to provide support in ways that are responsible.”