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Barclays may sweeten decision to close DB scheme

Barclays could sweeten its unpopular decision to close its final salary pension scheme to future accruals, according to reports.

According to today’s Financial Times, chairman Marcus Agius has said the bank is reviewing the move which he acknowledges was disappointing for the scheme’s 18,000 existing members.

Speaking at a meeting called to approve the sale of Barclays Global Investors, which was backed by 99 per cent of shareholders, Agius said: “We are assessing what enhancements we could make to alleviate these concerns.”

During the meeting, some investors questioned whether proceeds of the sale would be injected into the pension fund but Agius said the £7.6bn earned would be used to bolster current capital levels.

A number of Barclays employees protested outside the meeting, according to the FT.

Money Marketing reported last month that Barclays staff may strike in September after the bank announced the final salary scheme would close.

Unite, the trade union, said Barclays members were “incensed” at the proposals, adding that 92 per cent of staff wanted to be balloted by Unite on industrial action.

Barclays’ said the closure was necessary as the pension scheme had become untenable after its £200m surplus ballooned into a £2.2bn deficit in a year.

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