It is widely reported this morning that bank bonuses totalled £14 billion this year – the same as last year and up from £8 billion a decade ago. But falling under the radar is the fact that the bonuses paid out by the temporarily nationalised banks are greater than bonuses paid to every single public sector worker in the country.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (replicated below) shows that although just 1 per cent of the workforce work for publicly owned banks, they paid out 1.6 per cent of the country’s £35 billion bonus pool. By contrast, the public sector, which employs close to one in four Britons, paid out just 1.5 per cent.
The staggering statistics underline the capitulation by the Government on bank bonuses. Earlier this year, the Chancellor cleared the way for bonus payments to the bosses of the bailed-out banks – Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. Whereas in the past two years, the chief executives of both banks have waived their bonus payouts.
Reacting to the news, Lord Oakeshott, the former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said: ‘These banking bonus figures show sheer greed.
‘Our country won’t believe “We are all in this together” until the Government gets a grip on bank bonuses.’
George Osborne should take note.