Reporting season kicks off this week
Bankers’ bonuses poised to break through £100 billion this year
With HSBC likely to face a severe backlash today when it kicks off the bank results season, the revelation that the bonus culture continues unabated is bound to add to growing public anger.
Analysis of Office for National Statistics data by the Robin Hood Tax campaign shows that bonuses paid out in the financial sector, which includes insurance, since the start of the crisis in October 2007 have already reached £91 billion.
By the end of this financial year, this figure is likely to have surpassed £100bn, equal to £1,500 for every person in the UK.
David Hillman, spokesman for the campaign, said: “This eye-popping sum is evidence we live in a two-tier Britain where an unreformed financial sector continues to pocket huge rewards while the rest of us are left to clear up their mess.
“We’ve given the Square Mile far too long a leash – the result has been a sector that feathers its own nest despite being embroiled in one scandal after another. Our softly-softly approach to the City clearly has not worked – it’s time we tackled this bloated sector by ensuring they pay more tax.”
The Robin Hood campaign comprises a group of 119 organisations including Barnardo’s, Comic Relief, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Stamp Out Poverty and the TUC.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group report figures this week, Barclays and Standard Chartered report next week.
Barclays is thought to have cut its total payout to below £2bn from £2.4bn the previous year and the bailed-out banks are also likely to announce smaller bonus pools.
The Robin Hood campaigners say: “Whilst the financial sector contributes approximately 10% to the UK economy it accounts for well over a third of all bonuses paid out – clear evidence the sector is out of sync with the rest of the economy.
“Banks have already found ways to circumvent the cap on bonuses that came into effect at the start of 2014. Yet this measure anyway only addresses the symptom and not the cause of a bloated financial sector.”
The Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling for the UK to introduce a financial transactions tax – as other countries are doing – that will both raise revenue and curb some of the sector’s worst excesses.