Bankers make hay while austerity hits the poor

Written By: David Hencke
Published: June 16, 2017 Last modified: June 16, 2017

Thousands more senior banking executives are enjoying huge salary hikes as the rest of the Britain still suffers austerity, according to figures released in a report on bank executive pay by the House of Commons library.

The report quotes figures released by the European Banking Authority which is required under a European Commission directive to collect figures from all 28 EU members on how many people are earning over 1 million euro (£884,300 at current rates) a year. Britain will no longer have to supply this when we leave the EU.

The figures show startling increases in senior staff employed by the banking industry falling into this bracket between 2012 and 2015 across nearly all sectors. Altogether the number of higher earners has risen nearly 300 per cent over this period, from 1272 to 3551.

Among the bigger rises are those in investment banking where the numbers earning this figure and more has risen from 947 to 2146. In asset management the numbers rose from 94 to 415 while those in high street banks rose from 52 to 105.

The average salary among the 2146 top earners in investment banking was 2,021,000 euro or over £1.78 million a year. Among the 415 people in asset management it was even higher at 2,201,000 euro or £1.946 million a year. In retail banking the 105 people averaged a little less at 1,789.000 euro or £1.582 million each a year.

Another report, quoted by the library, examined staff pay at the top of five leading retail banks, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS, which compared top pay between 2015 and last year did show that some of the leading figures had suffered some reduction in top pay in those twelve months.

The total remuneration package of Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osório fell from £8.47m a year to £5.541m. The bank had been bailed out by the taxpayer but the government has recently sold back all its shares.

But others like Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander, saw his renumeration package rise from £3.958m to £4.536m.

This report compiled in the UK also shows the top five to eight unnamed  people employed by five leading banks and how much their total renumeration package, including long term incentives is worth.

At Lloyds 8 people share £24.9 a million a year between them. The figure for Barclays was £27.1m and at HSBC the top five people shared a whopping £33.4m.

Figures for the state owned RBS are lower at £11.35m while at Santander it was £10.6m.
The report said it was fiendishly complicated to work out the exact packages even with new reporting regulations.

About David Hencke

David Hencke is Tribune's Westminster Correspondent