Cash rewards for executives

Banks ‘paid out millions’ ahead of cash bonus ban

Cash landed in executive accounts in recent weeks

Millions of pounds of bank bonuses were paid out weeks before the Bank of England this week ordered them to halt cash rewards to top executives, it has been claimed.

The ban on cash bonuses was part of the Bank of England’s demand that banks preserve their reserves, including £7.5 billion in dividends, at a critical time for the economy.

However, banking industry sources have told The Guardian that the bulk of cash bonuses will have already landed in executives’ accounts.

More than £500m of cash payouts was earmarked for top executives and these payments are usually paid alongside March pay cheques at banks such as Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

RBS and Lloyds, which were bailed out in the 2008 financial crisis, limit annual cash bonuses to £2,000 per senior employee.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma demanded the banks do more to help companies after concerns arose that up to a million could fold by being denied emergency loans.

“It would be completely unacceptable if any banks were unfairly refusing funds to good businesses in financial difficulty,” Mr Sharma said.

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