04/12/2010 - Bank Bonus Madness!

IN AUGUST we carried a news report – Bankers go back to their bad old ways - which illustrated how the bankers in the City of London seem to hold the rest of us in absolute contempt.  


Our article looked at how the banks were raking in money like there was no tomorrow.  At the time we reported:

“The Royal Bank of Scotland has recently reported profits of £1.1 Billion.  Not to be outdone, the Lloyds Banking Group made a cool profit of £1.6 Billion.

 However, this pales into insignificance when compared to Barclays.  In the half year to June, they made £3.95 Billion.  That’s a 44 percent rise in profits.” 

And - as if to really rub our noses in it – we noted that around Over 1,500 bankers from Barclays Capital, JP Morgan, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds enjoyed free drinks and entertainment at the 50th anniversary bash of the Square Mile, the “indispensable read for City Executives.” 

At this soiree, many bankers boasted that they were going back to their bad old ways, consisting of “City bonuses, going out, champagne.”


Four months later it gives us no pleasure to report that the bankers are up to their antics again. 


In this new age of austerity – when all we hear about are cuts, cuts and more cuts – Britain’s bank chiefs are set to pocket bonuses worth a total of around £15 Million.  According to various media reports, the bosses of Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered are all due large payouts. 


For instance, Stephen Hester of the RBS will get a bonus of up to £2.4 Million.  Eric Daniels, outgoing Lloyds chief, could get £2.3 Million.  Barclays boss John Varley is retiring soon and stands to get £3 Million whilst Peter Sands of Standard Chartered is expecting a bonus of around £3.2 Million.  Top of the pile is Michael Geoghegan – of the HSBC - who is looking at a bonus of a cool £4 Million.


These bonuses come at a time when thousands ordinary Britons are being thrown on the scrapheap as a result of the cuts in public services.  Those lucky enough to keep hold of their jobs will have to tighten their belts even further as the cuts bite deeper.


With this in mind, is it any wonder that many folks are now coming around to the idea that the private banks should be swept aside and replaced by a state bank?