April 27, 2012

Revolting shareholders! Are they purely greedy or do they have a point? Barclays Bank shareholders have revolted against Executive pay packages in the latest of the newest trend of shareholder dissent. With 26.9% voting in objection to the proposed remuneration, this would mean that 73.1% were either satisfied or disinterested. With Barclays shares up nearly 4% this afternoon, perhaps a revolt (or revolution) is required every day?

But, how different it could have been. Barclays Bank were one of few banks to ‘survive’ the first credit crunch or, more accurately, reject a government bail-out in preference of private investment. The impact of government bail-outs on banking sector shares was little short of devastating for investors yet Barclays Bank, despite some ups and downs, have managed to retain some credibility in their share prices at a time of austerity and financial squeeze.

So, does the revolting third of shareholders constitute the same ones that have reaped dividend benefits over past years from alleged mis-selling, high interest rates and all things that generally contributed to the near collapse of global banking? And, while it may be their own ‘hard-earned’ cash (unlikely!) that they’ve invested, they wish to object because someone who actually works at the bank gets a bigger share than they do!

The politics of money and business is certainly a strange world but the capitalist theory of return on investment has been shaken to its roots over recent years. It’s probably about time that shareholders stopped being so revolting and considered whether the stock markets are where they wish to gamble, or if they’d rather seek their fortunes in casinos or via the lottery.

Last updated: April 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm