Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) – Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer John Varley stood at the wooden lectern in St. Martin-in-the- Fields on London’s Trafalgar Square last night and told the packed pews of the church that “profit is not satanic.”
The 53-year-old head of Britain’s second-biggest bank said banks are the “backbone” of the economy. Rewarding high- performing bankers with more pay doesn’t conflict with Christian values, he said. Varley was paid 1.08 million pounds ($1.77 million) and no bonus in 2008.
“Talent is highly mobile,” Varley, a Catholic, said. “If we fail to pay or are constrained from paying competitive rates then that talent will move to another employer.”
“Is Christianity and banking compatible? Yes,” he said in an interview after the speech in the 283-year-old church. “And is Christianity and fair reward compatible? Yes.”