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Banks to pay out billions in bonuses

Robert Peston | 21:45 UK time, Thursday, 6 January 2011

The government has become reconciled to British-based banks paying out bonuses running to many billions of pounds in the forthcoming bonus round.

After weeks of talks between ministers and senior bankers, the best that ministers are hoping for from the banks is a statement from them - possibly at the end of next week - that they will pay out less than they would otherwise have done.

"They are looking for some words from us that prove that the negotiations have achieved something," said a senior banker. "I fear however that there may be more spin than substance to what we say."

A member of the government said: "We have never said that we want to see the end of big bonuses because we know that is not deliverable."

Investment banking has been a less profitable business for many banks in 2010 than it was in 2009. So bonuses were expected to decline in any case.

Royal Bank of Scotland may pay nearer £1bn in bonuses than last year's £1.3bn.

Barclays may award less than the £5bn to £6bn in salaries and bonuses that its results for the first nine months of 2010 indicate it would pay out to the 25,000 employees of its investment bank, Barclays Capital.

In the case of Barclays Capital, many of its employees are based outside of the UK: it has a huge base in New York, having bought the rump of Lehman in 2008.

Even if bonuses are cut, investment bankers won't necessarily be worse off, because many of them have enjoyed rises in fixed salaries of between 20% and 40%.

"It's well known that the pay of investment bankers has been reweighted towards salaries and away from bonuses," said the senior banker. "So even if bonuses are cut, the total pay of many bankers won't fall."

Another banker said: "the total amount we pay out in bonuses will look huge to most people. Even if we pay out less than the £7bn or so it was estimated we paid in 2009, we are still likely to face criticism".

The Chancellor, George Osborne, recognises that Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC - which are the main payers of bonuses among British banks - operate in a global market, and cannot afford to pay significantly less than their overseas competitors.

The banks argue that they would lose staff essential to their profitable operations if they fail to pay more-or-less the going rate.

To take the sting out of criticism of the substantial rewards for bankers who are widely blamed for the recent savage recession - and whose organisations are only afloat because they have been rescued by loans and investment from taxpayers - the government is looking for the banks to make new commitments to provide additional credit to small businesses.

The hope of Mr Osborne and of the Business Secretary Vince Cable is that the banks will make binding promises to increase lending to smaller businesses and charge those businesses less for credit.

"The Governor of the Bank of England and the Chancellor are concerned that banks' understandable and sensible desire to shrink their balance sheets is depriving credit-worthy businesses of essential finance," said a government source. "It's really important that the banks are seen to be making a contribution to the recovery of the UK economy."

Ministers are hopeful that the banks will sign up to a meaningful lending pact, but it is by no means certain. "The deal is certainly not done and it may never be done," said a member of the government.

One problem is deciding how much each individual bank must commit to lend.

"The banks in general understand that they must be seen to be lending enough," said a banker. "But when capital is in short supply, it is quite difficult for a global bank like Barclays or HSBC to choose to devote a substantial amount of resource to the relatively risky and low margin business of lending to smaller UK businesses, when there are more attractive opportunities elsewhere in the world."

As and when the banks issue their statement on lending and bonuses, they are also likely to say that they support David Cameron's plan to create a so-called Big Society bank using the proceeds from customers' dormant accounts (or funds left untouched by depositors for so long that they are unlikely ever to be claimed).

"The only problem we have with the Big Society bank is that we are not completely sure what it is going to do, though the idea of using the funds for community projects seems a good one as a general idea" said a banker.

The negotiations with ministers on a bonus and lending pact were started by John Varley, who has recently stood down as chief executive of Barclays. I disclosed the existence of these talks back in November.


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  • Comment number 1.

    time to split them up

  • Comment number 2.

    Robert, when you talk of "bankers" who do you mean? Cashiers in a bank? Call Centre agents? These people are all "bankers" to their public. Don't these people deserve some sort of bonus for working through this horrible state??

  • Comment number 3.

    Ministers are hopeful that the banks will sign up to a meaningful lending pact, but it is by no means certain. "The deal is certainly not done and it may never be done," said a member of the government.


    Anybody share the minsters hope?

    Government bail out the banks who in turn use the money to buy back bonds et al raised to bail them out. Social Darwinism. The banks have taken over government that is why Mini-brain Osborne and his predecessor have been and are powerless to stop them doing what they want - at our expense. Capitalism of the purest kind. Think BAA and Man Utd as two other examples.

  • Comment number 4.

    The UK and it's fantastic bankers: No change - no surprise - no future

  • Comment number 5.

    We all know who runs the country and its certainly not the respective governments.
    The arrogance of these people is truly amazing, they just carry on as normal even though they brought the western economies to there knees.
    Its like a drug or an alcoholic being in denial, no I have not got a problem.
    It will happen again thats for sure, no splitting of high risk investment banking away from normal transactional stuff. So carry on gambling with somebody else's money, if thats the case you as a private individual might as well run your own share portfolio.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oh how i wish i was a banker....

    I could be a complete failure send the country into a recession and still receive my bonus.

    What has this country come to?

    Hang on a minute if i hold the country to ransom and threaten to take my expertise to another country they will pay me my undeserved Bonus..

    Oh i wish i was a banker...

  • Comment number 7.

    We don't need a "Big Society Bank" to fund community projects we need lots of risk equity capital to push the new company birth rate back up to sensible levels and enable existing companies to grow.

    My view overall though is that the banks are now close to cutting their own throats. Society simply won't stand for this nonsense anymore and I'm convinced that there will be riots in the City if the Govt doesn't get a grip soon. This is going to get really messy and very very dangerous.

  • Comment number 8.

    As usual the size of the bonus is not the point. I want to know how the banks have ensured that their bonus structure doesn't encourage excessive risk taking.

    If the bankers can make a genuine, sustainable, long term contribution to the bank's profitability then I'd say double their bonuses.

  • Comment number 9.

    The Government is "reconciled" to ...

    Or did you mean powerless?

    Maybe we could kill two birds with one stone here. How about we scrap Parliament as we know it and have elections for bank chiefs instead? I mean they seem to rule the country and that way at least Jo Public would have some influence on things.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    As a 'rank and file' employee of a high street bank I am increasingly frustrated by the constant battering of the financial sector by the media.

    Robert Peston continues to promulgate the impression that all those employed in banking are benefiting from huge bonuses, and fails to draw a distinction between branch staff and the City's investment bankers.

    In my view Mr Peston needs to:

    1. Make the distinction between the majority of bank staff and City bankers more clear during his irritatingly frequent appearances on our television screens

    2. Acknowledge that references to Barclays Bank should be excluded from diatribes against the banks paying bonuses: Barclays has not taken a penny from any government so are entitled to pay whatever bonuses they see fit.

    3. Recognise that the financial suffering of many bank staff is as great, if not greater, than the average man in the street: many saved carefully throughout their careers but have seen the value of share holdings collapse, dividends slashed, and jobs disappear.

    All-in-all it's about time Mr Peston and the rest of his media colleagues cut the histrionics and sensationalist reporting style, stuck to the facts, and stopped painting such a bleak picture of the UK economy...otherwise this country will never recover.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    No surprise it has been quite obvious who holds all the ace cards from the day the first one was bailed out.

    We have an impotent parliament who are in no position to bring the banks back into line. IMO until the day comes that we have non party orientated representation we at the bottom of the ladder are always going to be held to ransom by these terrorists. Strong language i know but its how i look on our whole corrupt economy and the legislators who are unable to curb the corrupt practices.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well there we have it, if Robert Peston is correct, it is the Banks who run this country with our ConDem government seemingly powerless to enforce their Election promises to curb the bonus culture, and to announce that "we are all in this together". It seems that the Bankers are untouchable as far as making them pay their share of the financial mess and the resultant fiscal pain imposed on innocent taxpayers as a result of their careless actions. The government are seeming finding it much easier to hit the hard working, disabled, and poor in our society by imposing swingeing tax increases, whilst at the same time letting the bankers and offshore tax dodgers off the fiscal hoof. My feelings, and no doubt the feelings of the many in our country, is one of bitterness and unfairness where the rich are indeed powerful, to powerful to be controlled by the government. The Banks are now more powerful than the Unions were in the 1970's and we need a leader with the courage of Mrs Thatcher to bring about the same Law Abiding uniformity, that she brought to bear on the militants who thought they could run the country. As a country, we are at that tipping point. Who will step forward?

  • Comment number 15.

    We're all just jealous. Who wouldn't want to work in investment banking, risking money that isn't theirs and profiting big time if they get it right?

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm sure the "Nationalised Banks" can have their "bonuses" curtailed. We are the major share owner of Natwest, RBS, Lloyds etc.. Otherwise the government just needs to create a bank tax and set it at 50% of their profits. sounds like the government are scared of the banks.

  • Comment number 17.

    I fail to see why we make this so difficult? When a bank is successful and wants to reward its stakeholders, whats wrong with that? The solution is we, the general public need to become stakeholders in their success. In fact we are already. So why not a tax of 100% raised on the total staff renumeration inclusive of bonuses equity deals ammoluments etc multiplied by a factor to be decided but for example, their proffit margin%. That way we are all happy and the banks have the discretion to pay us all as they wish.

  • Comment number 18.

    The government sounds absolutely pathetic and impotent. Will Vince Cable survive this stress test. This puts shroud waving by medics into proportionate context. What would happen if we allowed these bonus encrusted prima donas to jump the golden ship. There are plenty who would take their place!

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    2. At 22:14pm on 6th Jan 2011, Gav wrote:
    Robert, when you talk of "bankers" who do you mean? Cashiers in a bank? Call Centre agents? These people are all "bankers" to their public. Don't these people deserve some sort of bonus for working through this horrible state??


    I disagree. The public know fine well whose boots are being filled and know fine well what Robert means by "bankers". The counter staff in my local branch of HBOS are brilliant - they are helpful, efficient and unfailingly polite and they are paid far less than they should be. Meanwhile their über-bosses are coining it bigtime despite the fact that every household in the country is getting squeezed for having bailed them out of their own mess.
    It's sick
    It's immoral
    It's a sin

    We don't need "discussions" - we need barricades.
    We don't need meetings of ministers - we need millions out on the streets
    We don't need to mollycoddle these parasites - we need to put them on boats in what they stand up in and get them out of our country

  • Comment number 21.

    8. At 22:22pm on 6th Jan 2011, Cameron wrote:
    As usual the size of the bonus is not the point. I want to know how the banks have ensured that their bonus structure doesn't encourage excessive risk taking.


    Of course they haven't! It's "business as usual". Having been spared the pain of going to the wall through their own incompetence they're ready to let the Bolly flow

  • Comment number 22.

    This is Labour's fault. Thirteen years of lax regulation and Brown and Darling's sycophantic attitude towards the City has completely unbalanced the economy.

  • Comment number 23.

    No surprises here.

    The banks fail because of their greed and chronic short sightedness.
    The last government unquestioningly steps in and prints vast amounts of public money to absorb those losses for reasons that are never made entirely clear.
    The banks, no longer encumbered by the colossal losses they generated, carry on like nothing has changed.
    The present government like bankers even more than the last lot and, since there is nothing the public can do, shrug their shoulders and leave the status quo untouched (but make massive cuts to jobs and services whilst hiking taxes "for our own good").
    To reward their good fortune, the bankers give each other huge bonuses because, let's face it, the notion that banks possess some sort of collective conscience and will take their "moral obligation" seriously is absurd. They exist for one reason only: to make profit at the expense of everyone and everything else.

    All of this is storing up something far nastier than anything we have seen so far. Hyper inflation? House price crash? Mass unemployment? All of the above?

  • Comment number 24.

    Oh for Pete's sake, leave the blahdee banks ALONE, can you? You can't win, nor can any parochial national government against multinationals, particularly banks that run and regulate the conduits of the world's finances. You should have thought this all through 30 years ago when capitalism ran riot.

    And I doubt you'll grumble too much when the BBC pays you your business cash bonus this year, now will you?

    Hammer the banks too much and the British economy will rest on us selling houses to each other and buying dross goods manufactured in China.

  • Comment number 25.

    10 Jim Burnside. Unfortunately Jim not many people agree with your comments. Perhaps you are one of those humble poorly paid bankers who rely on your bonus to live a lifestyle that you think your entitled to at everyone elses expense.
    Like it or not Robert Peston is pretty much on the ball when it comes to describing both weak government and greedy bankers bonuses. No one except bankers accept the threat or the lies that "if we don't pay the going rate, we will lose good staff"
    If these are the good guys that the banks employ, then they really need to replace the HR department and quickly. For the banks that recieved bailouts from the government, it would be cheaper amd more effective to nationalise them completely. Looking at some of the deals that were done prior to, during and continuing with some of the banks, there is more than a smoking gun to make a case of serious fraud, followed by creative book keeping to say the least. Added to this when considering financial penalties for the directors of these banks, they should also be made to pick up the cost to the public of unemployment benefit paid to the staff (mostly junior) that they let go. This country is still just about a democracy, but is getting very frayed around the edges, if you don't like a democracy where the majority of the population don't particularly see excessive remuneration from a group who caused the basic financial problem, you have an interesting choice to make. Stay here and accept the majority opinion, or ship out but unfortunately the majority may well ask for your financial assets to be frozen pending investigation followed by taxation.

  • Comment number 26.

    I believe that the crucial issue for the Coalition is whether or not they can sort the banks, and somehow influence, even control, the obscene overpayments these people are receiving. The public share in RBS and HBOS gives them the opportunity, but have they the guts to take advantage. I'd love to think they had, but I suspect Cable's recent emasculation has been a wrecker. Osborne could do it. Could. Won't. And then who do we vote for in the next election?

  • Comment number 27.

    What do the people who work in investment banks do to justify their pay let alone their bonuses? Whose money are they 'playing' with? Do they get negative bonuses when it all goes pear shaped?
    In the current economic climate any money they make should be paid to the shareholders who have had no dividends, the investors who have suffered low or nil interest rates and the government for bailing them out. they are morally corrupt.
    Jim Burnside above thinks the amounts are relatively infinitesimal, in which case they should be taxed a lot more than they already are. The whole process is little more than gambling with our money and the city is nothing more than a financial casino for these playboys!

  • Comment number 28.

    It's not so much "we're in this together" but more like they (the banksters) are " in the altogether" (as in the emperor's new clothes).

    Can someone tell these morons we're supposed to be enduring CUTS.

  • Comment number 29.

    To be honest I am happy for bankers to get full bonuses, hey you choose your profession and get paid accordingly. BUT AFTER the banks have paid back every single penny they owe the tax payer, pay us first we bailed you out...after that your welcome to your Astons and Bentleys again!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    hey robert,
    happy 2011!
    are banks paying huge bonuses "together, in the national interest?"

    ethicalism doubts that, is a balanced economy one that sweeps up all the wealth into one square mile in the capital for just a few to benefit from?
    its not wealth creation its poverty creation.

  • Comment number 31.

    They used to cut the hands off of thieves, now they can just laugh in your face and wave their bonuses in your face.
    But never mind the eye of the needle will provide justice on judgement day, as the governments we've had can't seem to provide any form of justice to any circumstance we the long suffering tax payers find ourselves in.

  • Comment number 32.

    Despite the recession and job losses we now have to suffer because of the bankers' greed, this Government is never going to get tough with the banks and demand they curb their high salary rises and huge bonuses to their big guys. Lowly clerks and cashiers won't be getting the big bucks given out. They are in the same shape as the majority of British tax payers who could lose their jobs tomorrow. JimBurnside is, of course, trying to divert from the point and doing it ignorantly. Yes, break the big banks up and control them. If the likes HSBC want to leave London as a result, good riddance! That tower block in Canary Wharf can be put to much better use after they've gone.

  • Comment number 33.

    Isn't it strange how many people are happy to jump aboard the Robert Peston Bandwagon for a bit of bank bashing? I reckon it's a fair bet many of his acolytes ran up huge personal debts during the good times and are now only too happy to duck all responsibility for contributing to the mess the country is in. It's always someone else's fault...isn't it?

  • Comment number 34.

    It is just not a matter that the UK government can deal with on its own. Many of the recipients are not British, but merely work here. Many of the Brits work for foreign banks. In the long term, they can up sticks and move to Switzerland or wherever. Great; no bonus problem in the UK, but also no tax income, foreign earnings and so on. This is not really a problem for the government, but for shareholders in the banks who are being ripped off by salaries, which is why I will not buy shares in banks. Having said that, the bankers are incredibly self-centered and greedy, but there again, so are many others as well.

  • Comment number 35.

    The trough is full eh? Nice :D

    From fraud-rooted derivatives scams, to the corrupt fractional reserve system using fiat currency, to the manipulation of the precious metals markets----> These people don't care what the peasants think. YOU MIGHT HATE IT, BUT THEY WILL DO IT ANYWAY AND IT'S FULLY SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    At this late stage of the economic redistribution of assets and wealth to the top 10% of major western economies, I can only offer you one piece of advice:

    Take all your money, and buy silver. Paper money is dying very quickly in the West. Buy yourselves some metals, profit on the bubble, and invest it in Asia because that is EXACTLY where the money is flooding and where it will stay.

  • Comment number 36.

    No suprises then?

    Personal Greed and short sighted behaviour vs social responsibility and long term benefits? No contest for bankers.

    What's odd is that the owners of these banks ( i.e. us for several of them) don't demand equal bonuses in the form of dividends. I mean if you can afford to pay 5bn in bonuses, surely the divs should be of equal percentage?

    I wonder if they are...

  • Comment number 37.

    All these bonuses are still being paid to all the " wizards" of the financial industry who got us into this mess in the first place. It is these same people who keep telling us they are the top talent and must have this level of pay otherwise they will leave. To the rest of the UK they are a set of incompetent pillocks.

  • Comment number 38.

    It should be morally and spiritually incumbent on every adult/parent in this country that has and is needlessly suffering and is now being shockingly and openly exploited by the odious slime that is the financial sector, to consider these malodorous thieving parasites of our states health the very definition of a social enemy.
    In the end ... they will pay. These socially irresponsible maggots who have grown fat from suckling what they the can from a dying economy are inching eyes closed down a hole. And they have their tentacles deep into the rest of us as we allow them to drag us down with them.

  • Comment number 39.

    Since my earlier comment was deemed unaceptable:

    Does anyone fancy joining me in protesting against these bonuses?

  • Comment number 40.

    I just cannot believe the Government is so spineless. I am a public sector worker who is not going to get a wage rise on my £12000 pa salary, I am losing my childrens tax credit, my child trust fund, but I never caused the financial crisis, the bankers did - so why do they not have to 'struggle' through this without their bonuses? It is completely immoral and about time something was done, who cares if they all leave and work elsewhere!

  • Comment number 41.

    22. At 22:49pm on 6th Jan 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    This is Labour's fault. Thirteen years of lax regulation and Brown and Darling's sycophantic attitude towards the City has completely unbalanced the economy.


    Back when Mrs Thatcher was on the throne, Nigel Lawson presided over the biggest shift in financial legal practice in history. He himself said that even Maggie was shocked at the extent of liberalisation of the markets.

    Now, I think all politicians are love-slaves for the 'interests' of the fattest wallets, but if you think Brown was bad for his lax regulation, you have to give some credit to Lawson.

  • Comment number 42.

    Queuing and complaining, thats the British way. So what are you going to do about it ?

  • Comment number 43.

    2. At 22:14pm on 6th Jan 2011, Gav wrote:
    Robert, when you talk of "bankers" who do you mean? Cashiers in a bank? Call Centre agents? These people are all "bankers" to their public. Don't these people deserve some sort of bonus for working through this horrible state??


    I agree, especially when it comes to 'Investment Bankers.' Case in point from this article is Barclays Capital, who out of their 25,000 employees employ more Technologists (IT staff) than any other area.

    Barclays or HSBC didn't get bailed out by the UK Government, so I don't see why they keep getting mentioned in articles like this.

  • Comment number 44.

    To quote Yehudi Menuhin ' What a bloody good fiddle ! ' The Marxist's are going to be livid to say the least. Still this is a good lesson for students, if you spent more time studying and less time screaming ' Nazi ' at everyone over forty, you might get a lucrative job in one of the banking house's, imagine the hoodies and balaclavas you could buy with those extra large bonus's !

  • Comment number 45.

    What a joke.

    Yes, it's really now time to start splitting them up.

    If this is the best that Vince Cable and the Lib Dems can do, then they sold me a pup.

    We need Mervyn King to stick his nose back into the proceedings very sharpish, and bring some sense to the proceedings.

    When you say "Ministers are hopeful that the banks will sign up to a meaningful lending pact"....
    What chance on earth is there of any lending pact entered into by bankers being meaningful? It's nothing but a sop..... S...O...P.

    And as for "11. At 22:26pm on 6th Jan 2011, DontcallmeRoger"...

    The sooner the banks are split up the simpler and more rewarding life you will have. Surely the best thing for you and your hard working colleagues to do would be to seek to kick your gambling brothers out of your organisation completely.

    I think the time is right for direct action.

    Who should we call for.... .... methinks.

  • Comment number 46.


    I disagree. You (we) could win if we had the testicular capacity to deal with it.

    All you really need to do is set up a couple of new banks established on a modern charter where a banks responsibility is much more properly defined and of course includes the need to support industry, maintain national competitiveness and so on and so forth.

    Then you use the new charter to persuade businesses and individuals to shift their funds into the new banks and the old ones will slowly collapse.

    Job done.

  • Comment number 47.

    I don't see why people continue to bash the bankers. What's wrong with their bonuses? They work 18 hour days 6 days a week, if that's not worth a bonus, I don't know what is.
    People forget the crucial role that financial services play in this country, and the global economy. Yes they may be greedy, but don't get on your high horse and pretend that if someone offered you the money you wouldn't take it.

  • Comment number 48.

    22. At 22:49pm on 6th Jan 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    This is Labour's fault. Thirteen years of lax regulation and Brown and Darling's sycophantic attitude towards the City has completely unbalanced the economy.


    No it's not "labour's fault" - it's the fault of every Government since the mid-80s. That's when this sorry tale of indiscriminate credit began. That was the essence of what was called "the economic miracle" of the Thatcher era.

    Ever since the mid-80s we've been sold a myth of "financial titans" who would secure our economic future and so deserved unlimited reward. Some of us never believed a word of it. Too many did.

  • Comment number 49.

    Or, as I posted a while back...

  • Comment number 50.

    I cant see why we cant have a totaly government run bank where pensions can be deposited.and withdrawn
    cut out the banks all together ,why is money wasted sending pensions and social security payments to private banks to make money on .
    there is no need

  • Comment number 51.

    2.5 years after the's now time for direct action!

  • Comment number 52.

    39. At 23:10pm on 6th Jan 2011, FaceFacts wrote:
    Since my earlier comment was deemed unaceptable:

    Does anyone fancy joining me in protesting against these bonuses?


    I'm up for it

  • Comment number 53.

    @33 dontcallmeroger

    "it's a fair bet many of his acolytes ran up huge personal debts during the good times..."

    Not me for starters. And now the b**t*rds are pinching my savings.

  • Comment number 54.

    33. At 23:02pm on 6th Jan 2011, DontcallmeRoger wrote:
    Isn't it strange how many people are happy to jump aboard the Robert Peston Bandwagon for a bit of bank bashing? I reckon it's a fair bet many of his acolytes ran up huge personal debts during the good times and are now only too happy to duck all responsibility for contributing to the mess the country is in. It's always someone else's fault...isn't it?


    Yes personal debts rose. And why? Because the biggest call on anyone's wallet is the roof over their head. Thanks to the union-emasculating legislation of the Thatcher era wages never kept pace with house-price inflation. And the banks (see how we're back to them?) fanned the flames of house-price inflation by providing mortgages on quite insane terms - does the phrase "sub-prime mortgage" ring a bell?

  • Comment number 55.

    I was recently talking with a solicitor friend who was lamenting the fact that his firm had seen an increase in divorce cases against the backdrop of stress caused by the financial downturn. Another friend of mine who is a psychotherapist has a similar story to tell about the increase in cases for depression they are seeing since 2009 with financial worries being a major catalyst. Of course there are many other examples, but the reality is that for many people (even those with jobs) the financial stress of the past few years (with more to come in the next few years) is exercising an enormous social and psychological stress on many people in this country.
    Of course, the deal making bankers rarely give a thought to these stories, since for them it is always about the next deal and the associated bonuses to come.
    Our society has become terribly sick, when a small group of people numbering less than 10,000 are able to kid themselves and the toothless politicians that they are 'worth it'. Perhaps they would like to tell us whether people being forced into homelessness, depression, divorce and even suicide is really worth the candle of their over inflated, over paid egos. Let them go to Singapore, New York or Beijing. Do we really believe the entire British economy will come tumbling down if they go? The economy worked before they were paid these outlandish remuneration packages. It is simply an empty threat by a bunch of spoilt individuals whose real worth to society can be summed up with the number - zero. However, it is time the world turned around and said that nobody is worth this kind of money and that taking big risks with other people's money is hardly the work of a genius; rather, the gambling of addicts always looking for the next big fix.
    The politicians have missed their chance to bring these people back to reality.

  • Comment number 56.

    I love this idea that we have to pay these 'talented' people such obscene amounts of money. Even in ordinary times it would be dubious - in a recession and with a deficit the banks helped to cause it is particularly galling.

    In any case, wasn't it these same 'talents' that brought the banks down in the first place?

    Tax their bonuses at 90%. Call their bluff. Let them go wherever they please - they are bound to run out of countries that will put up with their activities eventually.

  • Comment number 57.

    Wow controversial stuff.

    The payment of such huge bonuses at a time when the rest of society is in such time of austerity sounds ludicrous.

    However, take a minute to really consider the consequences of imposing a limit on bonuses. Now we all know that 'bankers' are greedy, inhumane and selfish animals. If their salaries at a UK domiciled Bank is at a competitive disadvantage to their counterparts who work for foreign banks, they will clearly move because they are greedy, inhumane and selfish.

    But they'll still get paid buckets (because that's the market rate and its refusing to abate, much like premier footballer wages) and they'll still be swimming about in the system (even if they leave the country because its a global financial system we operate in). The key distinction however, is that in return for their pointless existence we will no longer have anything to show for it.

    What's there to show? Well these guys are supposed to be the brightest of the bunch in the banking sector (I stress in the banking sector because clearly they've lost all judgement or common sense in the real world) and, when things start to pick up, these will be the same guys generating the huge profits for the Banks. Which equates to more money in the government coffers. Which, ironic as it may sound, will help our debt-ridden growth-uninspiring economy.

    So frustrating as it is, I can see why these government officials appear to be tip-toeing about this issue. Because like it or not these guys are integral to the future of our economy.

    Which is clearly undesirable. Particularly the notion that we have 'too big to fail' banks. And this issue is way bigger than bonuses...

  • Comment number 58.

    I think the attention given to "banker's" bonus payments is a ruse to keep us (who are not "bankers") from focussing on the real issue - How come you guys have cost the financial world (from Freddie & Fannie, via Lehman's, to RBS and HBOS ) and the economies of a large part of the OECD nations such a fortune - hundreds of Billions; without any word of explanation or apology. It's a disgraceful stain on the integrity of all bankers. I'm not impressed at all.

    And I'm not impressed with the BoE, the MPC, the FSA, the Fed; all the men in grey suits who protect all the other men in grey suits; all the experts and journalists who just trot out more and more of the same disgraceful story.

    "It's really important that they are seen to be making a contribution to the recovery ...."

    That's a insult. They should be made to payback the whole bill of damage.

    These guys now have a reputation that makes used-car salesman look Saintly.

  • Comment number 59.

    Same OLD Same OLD...............

    If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you always got !!

    As the General Public / banking customers - let's start using CASH again not cards !

    I also propose a salary cap MAX of 20 x the lowest full time salary of that organisations workforce. Applicable to everyone and includes bonuses....any profits or surplus money gets divided 25 % to shareholders 75% to improving infrastructure and all the other NEEDS we have as a society.!!

    I really cannot reconcile the need by the very few at the top to compete with each other.... My bonus is bigger than your bonus !! What a POOR attitude and signifies small genitails probably as well !!



  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Is there some sort of league table of who paid what to whom? I would like to switch my money to the most ethical of the banks, until the banking functions are split, retail and investment, people could then at least register their disapproval by closing their accounts. If personal and small business accounts disappear so that retail banking for the firms that pay huge bonuses is unattractive we will have brought about the split ourselves. Close their high street branches and close your accounts. Don't just be a victim.

  • Comment number 62.

    Why don't the Banks that have been supported, nay saved from collapse by the Government/Tax payer accept that without this intervention they would probably not be here! That being the case, unless and until they have paid back every penny they have been lent there are NO bonuses available. Any surplus should go first to settling their debts to the Government/Tax payer and only after that has been fully repaid can they consider any bonuses to Directors and other employees.They are lucky to still be in employment let alone looking for any bonus.

    The whole idea of a bonus culture needs changing. People should/are paid to carry out a job for the remuneration that was offered i.e. a salary that expects any employee/director to carry out their work in the best interests of the organisation for which thy are employed. Why do should they feel they have to be further induced by bonuses to perform as should be expected? It is a poor indictment of them and our Society if they can only work effectively if they are bribed by potential bonuses for doing what they should be doing in the first place. A curse on your greedy house!!

    Rest assured, time will tell, but I believe it is still all going to come tumbling down...just you wait an see. The law of unintended consequences has not been defeated yet!

  • Comment number 63.

    I never thought I would find myself saying this, but if the banks won't help get us out of the mess they got us into, bloody well nationalise them.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    It is absolutely essential that David Cameron's idea of a National Maximum Income is implemented.

    No one is worth more than 20 times the poorest in the country - no one - banker footballer - no one!

    Bankers bonuses are a distraction - re-introduce 95%-100% tax rate at say £250,000 - we must reset our big society and 'enforce' an increase in equality of outcome.

  • Comment number 66.

    >At 22:13pm on 6th Jan 2011, thomas barton wrote:
    time to split them up

    If they don't get some sense of reality soon, it'll move beyond time to "split them up" and shift into time to "string them up"....

    And then we'll all be in the mire..

  • Comment number 67.

    No 25. Not a Banker Bob, a pensioner who regards people like Robert Peston and his ilk in the media as far worse than people who are actually bringing assets into the economy.
    What does Robert Peston contribute to our economy?
    Scaremongering of the worst kind akin to tabloid journalism.
    Let's have some common sense applied here.
    We need our banking system to be strong for the good of our economy. Fact!!
    Continually sniping at it by people who are contributing little is counter productive.

  • Comment number 68.

    if an alien come to me and ask me,whats the name of this planet,i say is call the bankers planet,some time ago we use to call it planet earth,

  • Comment number 69.

    OK, so they pocketed their bonuses based on their financial genius/unique skills and talents, then came begging for a handout when it went pear-shaped and like mugs we gave it to them. Now, with everybody "in it together", 100's of thousands facing reduncancy, the vulnerable facing cutbacks to essential services, the young being enslaved in debt for a lifetime, they are back to the big bonuses. They ripped us off once and now, without a hint of shame, they're trying it on again.

    So, it's to time to say enough's enough. Pay bonuses now and all government support is removed. No more QE, no more trouble asset relief programs, let the whole crooked circus go under. Enact a law stating that for any bank requiring another bailout within the next 5 years, as we are all sure they will do, all employees of said bank will face prosecution for fraud and malpractice, punishment = 20 years hard labour. We could then re-open the coal mines, solving our energy crisis whilst sending the pin-stripe suited spivs down to find out what real work is like - oh, and no bonuses for exceeding targets, just 20 lashes if they fail to meet their daily quota.

    And no, I'm not being satirical or ironic - this is a genuine proposal.

  • Comment number 70.

    the financial system is broken because there is no moral hazard. most of these banks didn't go bust because the public took on their unlimited debts yet there is no requirement for most of the profit to going to pay off debts from bad decisions.

    its no good saying only a few people in a firm made bad decisions so why should the rest 'suffer'. Banks are one legal entity.

    the catatonic shareholders should be made to take a hit.

    without moral hazard these banks are taking no risk so deserve no reward.

  • Comment number 71.

    47. At 23:19pm on 6th Jan 2011, Bank_me_off wrote:
    I don't see why people continue to bash the bankers. What's wrong with their bonuses? They work 18 hour days 6 days a week, if that's not worth a bonus, I don't know what is.
    People forget the crucial role that financial services play in this country, and the global economy. Yes they may be greedy, but don't get on your high horse and pretend that if someone offered you the money you wouldn't take it.
    So do many in the medical profession and our military in Afghanistan. Most of whom perform their work with a sense of duty. Yes, 'duty'. Those in banking may want to
    reach for a dictionary. . .

  • Comment number 72.

    Surely, the more bonuses paid in the UK, the better?! Half of the money instantly goes to the taxman and rest is highly likely to enter the rest of the economy (although mainly in London) when it is spent... Both definitely good things.

    The taxpayer has made a PROFIT on it's investment in Northern Rock and RBS!

    The vast majority of people commenting on this thread don't appear to have any understanding what an investment bank actually does.

    I work on the equities trading floor for one of the biggest investment banks (not a UK bank) in London. I joined one year ago after graduating from university. Before I did an internship at the bank I currently work for, I was lucky enough to have managed to gain work experience in a number sectors - charitable, government, property and financial. And was able to make an informed decision about what area I thought would best suit my skills but more importantly I would enjoy.

    Getting a job front of house at top investment bank is not easy - hours of interviews, tests and a 10 week internship cuts the successful applicants down to a just 7 on my floor from over 15,000 applicants. Makes getting into Oxbridge look like a piece of cake... Now I'm here I very much enjoy my job, it is literally different every day, extremely pressurised and intense which is what I wanted - I wanted to be challenged to achieve...

    I work with an fantastic bunch of people and work for team and for the firm. I arrive at the office by 6am and leave around 7pm, I will be available by email and phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But there are no 'official hours' I would work until the job is done. [Many friends have it far worse in corporate finance, friends will work 24+ hour days in the office and most weekends at junior level - literally 110 hour weeks]. And yet, at junior level I have almost no job security, if I do a bad job I'm out, I'm rewarded very well compared to fellow graduates but not compared to the costs of living in central London.

    On the most basic level I advise clients on what stocks to own, and if I do a good job they will use me more and my bank will make commissions on their trades. THe clients I look after are pension funds (investing ordinary people's pension pots - so they are able to last your retirement), asset managers, hedge funds (probably the only bit of your pension fund that actually makes any money) and some sovereign wealth funds (Norway, Arabs etc). My desk takes NO RISK, we make money if we have the best understanding of whats going on in the markets and tell our clients. Simple as.

    The equities division I am a part (7500+ people globally) of has been profitable throughout the financial crisis never making loss in a quarter. Providing excellent return to our shareholders - almost all my bonus is paid in stock (I'm told this has been routine for 10+ years especially for management), this is to align our objectives. So the majority of investment bankers have been hurt badly financially during the recession as they have owned their own banks shares which all collapsed. Small teams in fixed income were the only real culprits within the biggest global investment banks contributing to the crisis.

    However equally, every single person who has taken out a mortgage or a loan and not been able to repay you could argue is also equally responsible. So many factors contributed to the financial crisis it is impossible to blame one industry.

    In addition, I volunteer in a local school once a week (continuing on from university) and my bank also donated £m's to charity while have been there. So the idea that all bankers are greedy, soulless thieves is slightly offensive.

    So an international investment bank that has paid £bn's in UK tax last year generated from a few thousand UK employees and yet we are somehow seen as the scum of the earth??

    Sounds like 'fairness' to me...

  • Comment number 73.

    1. How much of the banks' performances is still due to QE?
    2. If the bonuses have to be high due to market rate of talent there would seem to be a reason for increasing the supply of talent. How much do the banks invest in this, or is there some other reason that talent is in short supply?
    [3. If it is so easy for baks to perform well, then perhaps the BoE can up the base rate]

  • Comment number 74.

    #8 ... is your first name David per chance and do you live at no 10?

  • Comment number 75.

    Jim Burnside@10.

    I do not agree with your view but you of course have the right to express it. In fact so far as I am concerned the more often people like you express such views the better.

    The point is that the public hate bankers right now. They see them as having taken all the upside during the boom years but then shifted the downside onto the taxpayers when things went belly up. Big bonuses will simply stoke public anger and lead to more calls for government to do something. No bad thing as far as I am concerned but not so great if you want a sensible debate about the role and shape of the banking iindustry in this coutry.

    Big bonuses will make a mockery of Cameron's "we are all in this together" rhetroric. It will also make Clegg and Cable look as though they are not getting anything out of being in Coalition. Is that really what the bankers want?

    For the foreseeeable future every group campaigning against cuts will start with a cry of "well what about the bankers".

    If Robert is right the key issue for me is the reaction of Miliband and the Unions. Will Miliband be able to come up with a sensible proposal forr adddressing the issues that are stoking public anger? Will the Unions find a way of harnessing the anger at the bankers in thheir campaign against cuts. If it was me Miliband should call for a public inquiry into the bust and bailout and the Unions should make creative use of the litigation process to take a stand against "irresponsible bankers".

    I also suspect some of the grassroot organisations (e.g. ukuncut) may now focus protests in the City rather than Westminster - reasoning they should focus on the organgrinders rather than the monkeys.

  • Comment number 76.

    For those brave few above who defending the banks annd the bankers above I would appreciate an answer to one question.

    Do you really suggest that the current shape and structure of our banking system is ideal and there is no need for any reform? The Governor of the Bank of England does not agree with you. And I am yet to hear one politician from any party express such a view.

    And for those who say HSBC and Barclays did not take any public money and therefore should be allowed to do what they want - a truly silly argument. Given the interconnected nature of the banking system if Lloyds and RBS had not been bailed out they would have dragged down the other two. All of the banks survived because of the taxpayer funded bailout.

  • Comment number 77.

    Perhaps an individual windfall tax focused on bonuses gained by those employed in certain sectors is called for; the government needs to start setting aside funds for the next bail out now and this is the sector that should be doing that funding.

  • Comment number 78.

    Jim @ 67 - that is the point. If you want people to stop sniping at the banks I would suggest you stop expressing your views in public. It is people like you who are doing far more than Mr Preston to stoke public anger. Don't you see that?

  • Comment number 79.


  • Comment number 80.

    People should just start boycotting the banks with poor ethics and lobbying their pension funds to do likewise.

    They need customers and access to capital to make their money so if we all switched to those institutions with a bit of moral fibre it might just bring them to heal.

  • Comment number 81.

    ColdMarine @ 72 two questions for a bright young chap like you.

    1. What was it that caused the financial crisis?

    2. Do you believe there should be any reform of Uk ad global banking regulation.

    Why not talk about something important rather than spin for your employer.

  • Comment number 82.

    The rich make the rules.

    The rules they make make the rich even richer

    The rich use their riches to make the rules even more favourable to the rich

    They owe us everything they have, but the rules say we are in debt to them

  • Comment number 83.

    Is this the time when the big money lenders force people in difficulties into bankruptcy and foreclosures by racking up interest charges and late fees and penalties. They then repossess properties, and buy back the properties on the cheap claiming massive legal costs. Then they can rule the whole world and reign dominion

  • Comment number 84.

    There are two things of interest here:-

    1. What proportion of the mega bonuses will be in shares and over what period will they be redeemable. If they can only be redeemed in say three years then that is a fairly powerful incentive for the 'bankers' to be responsible.

    2. The fact that salaries have been marked up and bonuses reduced means that there is less of an incentive for performance than before. Its the law of unintended consequences - we are all going on about bonuses but at least if bonuses are properly structured then they can actually incentivise responsible activities.

    3. (I know I only said two but I'm not a banker so don't know about numbers - ha ha!) The idea of £1 bn in bonuses is astonishing - £1000 million let alone 5 or 6 bn. I am definitely not in the right job for making money but at least I can fix a leak!

  • Comment number 85.

    Better Banking Without Bankers Corporate Greed*
    * & Corporate Fraud, Recession, Toxic assets, ARM Loans etc
    The list of “do-able” areas is as follows:
    1. Forming cooperatives to allow small businesses to operate at a higher level through cooperation;

    2. Stakeholder meetings/consultations to look at financing services to support enterprise;

    3. A look at the Alternative energy projects to see how best they can be moved forward;

    4. A look at appropriate technology for supporting enterprise;

    5. Food security: Agriculture, health and nutrition.

  • Comment number 86.

    Coldmarine. If I met you in a pub would you tell me your an investment banker?

  • Comment number 87.

    I think it is really important to deal with the issue of any bank employee who is receiving excessive remuneration be it a bonus or basic pay whilst people are loosing their lively hoods. However brilliant a member of staff if their ability in investment is misdirected then it is better to employ a less brilliant financial brain attached to somebody who tries to do the right thing. I run my own portfolio and it really isnt that difficult, the key being not to be greedy.
    I dont understand why these bonuses/pay are not subject to 99% tax plus a free air ticket. I am going to email my MP and complain and ask my freinds to do the same its a simple gesture but it makes the point.
    As we all experienced this crash from different veiwpoints I suggest that we all have a think and post any ideas that we may have that could improve the situation.

    I suggest the following

    I would be happy to see the reappearance of the building society, for both saving and buying property.

    I think we need to understand what a real business man is. In my experience they care deeply about their employees and the society in which they live and work. At the moment I see a society where the sucess of a business is measured purely in financial terms. I think the bankers as soon as they lend money delude themselves into thinking they know about business, they are providing a service not running the business to whom they are lending. They are back seat drivers and they dont know how to steer. I think banks should give up giving business advice because lets face it they have run their own businesses into the ground.

    I have found that I have bought into a couple of long term investments that were sold to other investment companies and moved around the world or completely changed the original activity for which the investment was sold. Obviously i wont buy long term again but i feel that if an investment changes a lot from as it was originally sold the investors should be allowed to exit without hassle. A get out of jail free card by law. I didnt buy into pensions but from what I could see the people who did would have benefitted from being able to move their money around. The problems seem to arise when the investor cant exit so looses control of their capital.

    Everyday banking is like wading through mud. I would like to cash a cheque without the cashier trying to sell me something or rearrange my accounts. I would also like a straight answer when I ask whats the rate on this account without them trying to get me to talk to somebody. Its just such a big time waster stick to the subject which is please may i have my money or please put this in my account.

    Any other ideas. Jenny

  • Comment number 88.

    #72 Coldmarine - thanks for the insight into the life of an equities trader. No sarcasm intended because I can't profess to know everything about investment banking.

    Clearly you are in a very strenuous role and there should be just reward. And you worked incredibly hard to get there in the first place so you deserve your cake. Under ordinary circumstances that would not be contentious.

    But pretty much every one in these times of hardship feels the same way. But unlike you, most people aren't getting the reward they feel they deserve. In fact most are suffering. And that you work more hours than most is besides the point if you think about it - in fact, it's rather insulting to those who work just as hard, with families to care for and a mortgage to pay off.

    Is it fair that you get such bonuses, given that you would not be in a job were it not for state intervention, regardless of the profits you were making for clients and employer?

    State intervention, at taxpayers' significant expense, ensured bankers like yourself continue to have a job to this day. So understand why there is such public condemnation because we expect there to be recompense of some sort. And reading headlines such as "Bankers Paying Millions in Bonuses" does not scratch that itch.

    Btw good luck with your career!

  • Comment number 89.

    Lets make it simple. If UK toy manufacturers were to become uncompetitive, then UK toy manufacturers would become unhappy. If UK beef farmers were to become uncompetitive, then UK beef farmers would become unhappy.
    Now, if the UK financial services sector were to become uncompetitive, then it stands to reason that they would be unhappy. And so would the government it seems, especially seeing as their capital is perhaps the most mobile of almost any industry, essentially meaning it ain't that hard for them to pick up and leave.
    It would therefore also stand to reason that the government would then jump to help keep an industry that accounts for 27.3% of the UK's GDP, and by some estimates accounts indirectly (by wealth distribution, and the spending of income of those who work in the industry) for as much as 70% of the local economy in certain places.
    If you are to pick a fight with anyone who makes money, why not have a go at property developers, who build you as bad a house as they can to sell to you for as much as you can afford, to make them money. Or farmers, who again make their product as cheaply as they can only to charge you more than it cost them, in order to make them money. Find examples of it in any business. They're not evil people, far from it, they are just doing their jobs. That is not to say that there aren't good people- there are many, but to stereotype bankers as being the worst of the lot is a little silly I would think- for example, in the US most funding for arts and culture comes from financial institutions and individuals associated with them.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that, sure, there are greedy bankers, in the same way there are bad teachers who fail to inspire children; in the same way there are builders who build sub-standard housing; in the same way there are taxi drivers who don't want to take you to the other side of town. If society is in such denial of these small injustices that happen every day, then it is understandable that bankers are the first to be set upon- the are easy targets. But is it really right? Does not everyone aspire to be successful? Many people aspire to be rich, too, and that is their right to be free to do so. It is aspiration on a wider social level that "brought the world's economy to it's knees", as consumers saved too little and bought/borrowed, too much.
    Isn't it ironic too that we all felt we had reached the apocalypse, long before wide-spread unemployment hit, when we saw those Lehman's employees walking out of their offices with their boxes. And that is telling; not so long ago, (heck only 3 years ago), we thought the end of the world was a bunch of "fat-cat" bankers being laid off. Or so the media wanted us to feel. Now they want us "to feel" again, and therefore people like Robert Preston love to feed the fire and whip us into a frenzy. One only has to watch the evening news and see politicians (and the media themselves) play the "big blame game", and frankly they do so very easily because they are publicly well represented, but if they fire off their blame in the direction of banks, for example, then it is easily absorbed as they don't immediately defend their actions, and the banks look like idiots. I would likely say if the banks hired a whole group of spokespeople and spin-doctors to help them in each country they operate in, there would be some huge scandal about them spending public money on more human resources!
    These poor bankers. Yes I know that sounds like a joke, as they are in fact rich (and good for them), but to be honest I pity anyone who is stigmatised based on a phoney idea, an illusion conjured by politicians and the media alike, hated in their own country by their own neighbours because of their job. If a career choice carries as much of a burden as that, then perhaps they are special, as I know I would not like to "out" myself as an investment banker in public any more.
    I understand I have been a little simplistic in using language as loose as "the banks" and "bankers", and I acknowledge that it is that very same over-simplification that has led to any and everybody being a little misinformed, and feeling they have very strong opinions based on that misinformation. But if we were all to become a little less self-assured and more open minded, surely we must see that criticising anything that is out of our hands is ignorant, counterproductive and downright dumb.

  • Comment number 90.


    I've just changed over from Robert's blog on 'Osborne lectures EU on banks'

    Like many suffering bloggers, I have been waiting for 4 hours to post a reply. I am told that this is not possible since there are problems!

    The people responsible for Robert's blog should hang their heads in shame. The standard of service provided on his blog is, in my opinion, a disgrace to the BBC and a barrier to meaningful communication.

    I'm no expert, but surely it's just a case of HTML programming - not rocket science! 4 hours to sort out a programming problem (still unresolved) is not amusing!

    My apologies for the intrusion - I'm just mightily teed off!

  • Comment number 91.

    It's all immoral, disgusting, dishonest, selfish, greedy, pathetic, hopeless, wrong, cruel. What about people who have been made homeless in these times. What about people making a stand.

    Bonuses where bonus due, mainly to mainstream staff I expect. If I was like them I could not live with myself.

    It's beyond words.

  • Comment number 92.

    The £100 billion bank problem pales into utter insignificance compared to the £4.8 trillion national debt problem created by politicians.

    Some investment bankers bring billions into their private firms, because we all want credit, and they earn accordingly and are taxed accordingly.

    For the last 25 years the City has paid about 35% of all UK taxes and boosted our economy without which the UK would be about the same level as Spain.

    Even the temporarily failed and bailed out banks will repay their debts to the treasury + interest and we will all have lower taxes as a result.

    So where is the beef? Jealousy and being blinded by socialist claptrap from politicians who sought to shift the blame for their long-term economic failure onto banks, which had only a temporary and much smaller failure.

    UK politicians have borrowed about £70,000 for each man woman and child in Britain and already spent it on the public services that we have consumed to date. All that debt, + interest, will still have to be paid for out of our future taxes.

    Blame a few bankers if you must but then please be rational and blame politicians about 480 times more. (4.8tn / 100m)

  • Comment number 93.

    Sorry to everyone that my post @64 was 'removed'... first time for everything !!
    I used 4 asterix to emphasize a point and the BBC moderators didn't like it so here is that message again BUT edited for decency !!! (i did post after the 9pm watershed). :-)

    @52 A Morton

    Yes I actually Do want to voice my disgust !!! And PROTEST in some way !!!!

    As someone mentioned before, it is the fault of ALL recent Governments to have allowed such a disgusting and greedy attitude to prevail in the city. I support Bank staff at branch level BUT I cannot justify larger six figure salaries and bonuses for a little bit of number juggling and's a flippin joke......

    Where is the moral and social compass of these people ???
    They are just out of touch with reality and unfortunately don't give a damn about anyone except themselves....

    Like you Andrew, the customer base of these banks needs to make them earn their corn or the retail and investment arms need to split.......

    I'm with Barclays currently and will be making my voice heard at the local and regional level !!

    We should all use cash not cards.......

    What do you suggest Andrew Morton ?

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    I think the time has come for ordinary people power namely :
    Switch your funds into credit unions.
    Do not take out ay loans or credit with any bank
    Freeze them out of your day to day transactions.
    Use cash instead of electronic terminals in stores.
    Make life as akward as possible for them and show them who has the real power.
    Get your employer to pay you in cash instead of credit transfer into your cheque account.

  • Comment number 96.

    @72 ColdMarine
    Firstly fairplay to you for trying to explain what goes on.... It does seem like hard work BUT that is the choice you took with the 'hope' of big bucks by doing such a role....Best of luck..

    The 'BEEF' i have though with all this is the Assumed Culture and rewards for being part of it... You may work hard BUT do you put your OWN money in and risk all you have, much like an entrepreneur would when starting a new business ? No and I would wager that most others there don't either unless they know something we don't ;-).

    It is however the scale of bonuses which causes great consternation with the public. Bonuses were in the past mainly a way in which salespeople would add to smaller basic salaries and in turn would incentivise them to get out and sell the company.... Nowdays Bonuses seem to be an expectation of ALL jobs, sometimes even for just turning up on time.. thats pathetic...
    There needs to be a sea change in the way society behaves and it's expectations to greed, the social fabric and an honest days work.... I personally don't think most people are worth what they currently expect and feel society has gone a little too far... how we arrest this is a good question....
    I think a Max salary cap as mentioned by John from Hendon and I makes alot of sense.
    20 x the lowest full time salary of an organisation is the max salary of that company including benefits. Across all industires, entertainment, sports etc etc with surplus funds going partly to shareholders and mainly to creating a society FIT FOR ALL.....
    If a company is doing well and can afford good salaries at the lower end then the Top dogs can benefit as well.... trouble is that we have all become to accustomed to having it too good for too long...



  • Comment number 97.

    92. What claptrap. Trend Debt interest on Government borrowing accounts for less than 3% of public spending.

    Prior to the bank induced meltdown public spennding was totally under control (Tories were promising to match labours spending plans up to 2008). Since the crash, caused entirely by the greed of bankers, public debt has mushroomed at least partially as the Government has invested over £900bn of our money in the wasters. Admitedly only about £100 bn of that money has to be entered into nYiknal accounts.

    But even then this gives the ConDems the excuse they need to take the hatchet to the public sector as it is still over twice the level of cuts being made (and ten tomes the money raised by the VAT hike).

    There will be trouble about this.

  • Comment number 98.

    We are all in this together don`t make me laugh !
    Western economies are so screwed up now its gone beyound the point of no return.
    We even got retailers blaming the cold weather for a slump in christmas sales when we all know full well people know whats coming and they are on a purchasing strike!

  • Comment number 99.

    #87 Jenny

    There is still the Nationwide plus a few other smaller B/S around . As for all those who advocate moving accounts to a more ethical bank the Co-Op advertises itself thus . I am not telling anyone to do this and I have no interest in promoting either - it just seems to me that there is so much dissatisfaction with the major high street banks in these postings that no body really considers these alternatives .

  • Comment number 100.

    Does not a simple explanation for the size of bonuses lie in the question of proportion? Banks make lots of money. We don't. Simple. As.
    If you feel so wronged by this, then become a banker. If you don't make it, tough, and I'm sure you will carry on complaining, if not out of jealousy, then out of spite.
    Frankly I want to make the money many of 'these bankers' do, but I can't; I couldn't do the job, and I won't. Sure I'm envious, but I do not embarrass myself by voicing my envy so publicly and so strongly.
    Leave them alone and be thankful they are paying most of a huge tax bill we would otherwise be paying.
    Finally, don't drive them out of my country, its just selfish, I want them here. They contribute much to it, and anyone who says otherwise is, well, wrong. At the very least, what is the harm? Other than the tension their opponents create..


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