Barclays has tough few weeks coming up

Barclays has tough few weeks coming up with first-quarter results, fallout from overselling financial products in US and possible vote against pay awards

Barclays has a tough few weeks coming up. 

The bank will report its first-quarter results on Thursday, and is likely to follow its US rivals in unveiling lower profits due to a drop in trading activity and a worsening economic outlook. 

But the results will also be weakened by a massive error recently discovered in Barclays’ US arm, which will be a hot topic as the bank faces its shareholders at its annual general meeting a week later. 

The competence of the chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, was called into question last month when it emerged Barclays had mistakenly sold £12billion more financial products in the US in 2019 than it had permission to.

Unfortunately, Venkat was chief risk officer at the time of the sales. 

The India-born American banker only found himself in the top job at Barclays because Jes Staley left unexpectedly following a probe into his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Investors may well be wanting to know why Barclays allowed Staley to stay as long as he did. 

And now, to top off Venkat’s troubles, shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis has recommended investors vote against Barclays’ pay report due to the large increase in his annual fixed salary of £2.7m, around 12.5 per cent more than Staley scooped. 

Glass Lewis questioned why Venkat’s salary was being benchmarked against his US peers – it said this could ‘result in excessive total remuneration opportunity, beyond what we consider to be appropriate for a FTSE-listed bank’.