Unions are calling for a complete overhaul of remuneration in the financial sector after research revealed that five banking chief executives received pay and bonuses worth more than £52m over a four year period.
The revelations come as Lloyds TSB shareholders meet in Scotland today to vote on the bank’s proposed merger with HBOS.
A study by the Labour Research Department think-tank, commissioned by super-union Unite, found that the basic pay and cash bonuses of five CEOs at HBOS, Lloyds TSB, RBS, Barclays and HSBC totalled more than £52m between 2003 and 2007. This excluded share-based payments.
Unite joint general secretary, Derek Simpson said: “Directors will be foregoing their cash bonuses this Christmas, but thanks to them millions face uncertainty in the new year. We need action in the long-term to end the current rot across Britain’s boardrooms. Boardroom pay practices are not only unjust, they have contributed to the worst financial crisis in decades.”
Unite is urging the government to appoint a representative to the boards of the bailed out banks, who has the power to oversee and ensure a fair and transparent pay policy.
Employees at Lloyds TSB and HBOS are expected to protest today outside the extraordinary general meeting in Glasgow, as they are worried the proposed merger, which aims to make £1.5bn in cost savings, could result in thousands of job losses.