British bank Barclays has paid £16.5m in bonuses to its leading 11 executives, which was half the payout given to top bosses last year.

The awards were paid in shares from deferred bonus schemes and new stock. The bank ran into criticism in 2014 when it paid its top bosses £32m ($46.9m, €44.2m) in shares, even though its profits had taken a hit.

Tom King, head of Barclays investment bank, earned the biggest payout. He received 1.86 million shares worth about £4.7m.

Barclays' investment banking operations are undergoing an intense overhaul to slim them down and cut costs. Since being elevated to chief of investment banking King's payout has risen from £3.8m.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins received the next largest bonus, 1.7 million shares worth £4.3m. It is the first bonus he has taken in three years.

Nine more executives were given around three million shares. Shares were priced at £2.535 on 17 March when they were awarded.

Several Barclays executives sold more shares than they needed to cover the tax liabilities of the payout, the FT reported.

These included Robert Le Blanc, its head of risk, who sold an extra £331,508 of stock on top of those needed to cover tax, and Ashok Vaswani, head of retail, who sold an extra £255,896 of stock, said the newspaper.

Vaswani's award increased from £834,000 last year to £1.5m this time around.

Last year, the top two earners were US investment banking chief boss Skip McGee, who received stock worth £8.9m, and the head of the ring-fenced "bad bank" unit Eric Bom­mensath, who took £8.6m. Both have since left Barclays.

Part of the awards were made up of first-quarter payment of "role-based allowances", which is a new mechanism introduced by some banks to bypass the European bonus cap. The remainder came from awards made as part of bonus schemes over the past five years.