ABSA Group CEO Maria Ramos .photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 312
BARCLAYS Africa chief executive Maria Ramos took home R29.5million in total remuneration for the 2016 financial year.

The company’s annual report released yesterday showed her package was higher than the R28.2m she earned in 2015, and comprised a R14.5m total fixed remuneration including a R7.6m salary, and R15m of total variable remuneration of which R9m was deferred cash and share awards.

Ramos was reported last year as being one of the lowest-paid banking executives in the country. Last month Business Report reported that Standard Bank last year paid its top six executives a combined R209m in salaries, bonuses and other benefits, with group head of corporate and investment banking David Munro netting more than the company's joint chief executives in the 2016 financial year.

Barclay’s deputy chief executive officer for South Africa banking David Hodnett’s received a total package of R25m last year from R23m in 2015.

The company said that the remuneration was split into 50percent in phantom shares and 50percent in cash, with phantom share restrictions lifting over five years in line with Barclays approach.

The bank said that the remuneration structure took into consideration the financial performance, which included the 5percent headline growth for 2016 including a 2percent growth in South Africa. In 2015, headline growth was 10percent.

Return on equity was down 16.6percent from 17 percent in 2015.

Chairperson of the company’s group remuneration committee Paul O’Flaherty said in the report: “The group remuneration committee ensures that our reward practices are aligned with shareholder interests, both in the performance of our employees and the values they uphold.”

Barclays Africa previously said its parent company Barclays had reduced its shareholding to 50.1percent from 62.3percent.

Barclays chairperson Wendy Lucas-Bull told the annual general meeting yesterday the company had applied to the SA Reserve Bank to approve the further reduction of its shareholding in Barclays Africa to below 50percent.

Lucas-Bull said the application included the terms of the separation payments and transitional services arrangements including R12.8bn primarily to fund the investments required for the Barclays Africa Group to separate from Barclays.

She said part of the agreement was the provision for a broad-based black economic empowerment scheme.

“The full details are still under consideration but Barclays PLC has agreed to contribute an amount equivalent to 1.5percent of Barclays Africa’s market capitalisation or R2.1billion which is based on a Barclays Africa’s share price of R168.69 on 31 December 2016,” said Lucas-Bull.

She weighed in on the recent cabinet reshuffle saying it was a threat not only to the promising signs of growth in the economy and its ability to uplift the poor but had weighed on business and investor confidence, introducing new risks for the banking sector. “ The board is satisfied that management has put the necessary capital and liquidity measures in place to manage through a deteriorating environment,” she said.