A leading corporate governance body has urged shareholders in Barclays to oppose executive pay at the bank, calling its disclosure opaque and its design overly complex.

Pirc, which represents the interests of fund managers and pension funds with more than 1.5 trillion pounds ($2.4 trillion) of assets, said the complexity of the Barclays' plan prevents analysis of the design and quantum of executive pay.

Last month Barclays said its new chief executive Bob Diamond and his two replacements as head of the investment banking arm were paid 28 million pounds ($45 million) in 2010, with the trio also receiving shares worth 40 million pounds for past performance.

Pirc also slammed the British bank's choice of performance targets that link pay to its capital ratio.

This is not appropriate, particularly in a regulated bank where regulatory requirements are being used to justify incentive payments, Pirc said in its weekly newsletter.

Barclays has linked pay for senior staff to its core Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio, with bonuses deferred over three years and clawed back if the ratio falls below 7 percent.

Criticism over pay in the banking industry has refused to go away two years on from the financial crisis, despite changes to the way many executives are paid, as bumper pay packages have returned for some.

Barclays investors will vote on its remuneration report at its annual general meeting on April 27.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Will Waterman)