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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Barclays, JPMorgan, BP…

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Barclays to reveal it pays 600 staff more than £1m; JP Morgan to cut thousands of jobs; BP on trial over oil rig explosion.

Barclays is expected to reveal next week that as many as 600 of its staff are paid more than £1m, in the most detailed disclosure yet about how much its 140,000 employees take home each year. In a move that could force rival banks to follow suit, Barclays is preparing to report how much its staff earn through a wide range of pay scales, shedding light on the pay of its lowest and highest paid staff.

Under the direction of chairman Sir David Walker, Barclays is to adopt a new way of providing information about pay when it publishes its annual report next week, potentially re-igniting the row over the high bonuses handed out in the City. Analysts estimate as many as 600 Barclays staff could take home more than £1m. It is understood that Royal Bank of Scotland is considering whether to provide more information about pay for 2012. [The Guardian]

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase plans to slash up to 19,000 jobs by the end of next year as it looks to cut its overall expenses. The move, which will see 3,000 to 4,000 posts go this year at its consumer bank, mainly through attrition, comes despite the US group reporting record profits for the past three years. Between 13,000 and 15,000 jobs are likely to be cut at JPMorgan’s mortgage banking unit, the firm said yesterday in a presentation to investors. [The Scotsman]

BP failed to apply its own safety and risk management system to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, in what was a “tragic” and “egregious” oversight, the first witness in a long-awaited civil trial over the 2010 oil spill said. Robert Bea, an engineering and safety expert from the University of California at Berkeley, took the stand after Judge Carl Barbier began the second day of hearings as the trial unfolding in a New Orleans courtroom. [The Independent]


George Osborne must reject renewed calls for a budgetary U-turn because it would jeopardise Britain’s ultra-low bond yields, the European Union’s economic chief has warned. Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission, said that the coalition’s deficit-reduction plan remained decisive in locking-in low borrowing costs even as the national debt heads towards economically damaging levels. With European markets again in turmoil after an electoral revolt against austerity in Italy, Mr Rehn also warned that it would take time for the eurozone to win a clean bill of health, although he insisted that the bloc was “out of intensive care”. [The Times]

The Bank of England is considering the “extraordinary” idea of negative interest rates as one of a number of radical policies to help return the UK to growth. Paul Tucker, deputy governor for financial stability, raised the possibility in front of MPs after saying the Bank could be doing more to help the economy, including measures to boost lending to small businesses. Negative interest rates would mean high street lenders paying the central bank to place their money with it. The move would be intended to encourage more lending to businesses and households. But it could also lead to a reduction in the interest paid on individual savers’ accounts held with high street banks. [The Telegraph]

Leaders of Italy’s two main parties have made their opening gambits towards forming a new government after an election deadlock that saw voters reject European-backed austerity policies and a discredited political elite. Pier Luigi Bersani, Democratic party leader, laid claim on Tuesday to the post of prime minister on the basis that his centre-left coalition had won the most votes in both houses of parliament, even though it fell well short of a majority in the senate. But after the shock result on Monday that showed a surge in support for comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement, Mr Bersani admitted: “We did not win, even though we came first.” [Financial Times]

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