The shares of Barclays (LSE: BARC) (NYSE: BCS.US) gained 2p to 285p during early trade this morning after the bank said its finance director would step down tomorrow due to ill health.

Chris Lucas, who was appointed finance director during April 2007, said:

"My health was a key factor behind my decision to step down which we announced in February. Whilst I had hoped to be able to continue working until early next year it is now clear to me that with my health as it is this will no longer be possible."

Mr Lucas will be succeeded by Tushar Morzaria, who will take on the bank's top finance role during October. Peter Estlin, currently group financial controller, will take on Mr Lucas' responsibilities in the meantime.

Barclays disclosed that Mr Lucas had been provided with income protection cover during his stint at the bank and, subject to medical reports, will become eligible for income protection payments.

The bank confirmed the payments will be payable for each year in which Mr Lucas is "unable to fulfil his role due to ill health" or until he reaches age 65, if earlier.

Mr Lucas was cited as being 52 years old in the 2012 Barclays annual report.

Barclays also revealed the payments earmarked for Mr Lucas would be equal to £600,000 per year and "reviewed periodically" in line with inflation up to a maximum of 5% each year.

Mr Lucas' last major task at Barclays was to launch a £5.8bn rights issue to shore up the bank's balance sheet.

Of course, whether the departure of Mr Lucas, his £600,000 annual payments -- as well as the rights issue and the general prospects for the wider banking sector -- all combine to make Barclays a 'buy' or a 'sell' right now remains something only you can decide.

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