Then again there are banking bonus payments.
It is easy to see why people become incensed at bankers when you consider their bonus payments.
You too may receive a bonus payment at work but yours will no doubt be linked to attendance at work and productivity. If your company begins to flounder you can kiss goodbye to your bonus payment. So, as many people keep asking, how come the reverse seems to operate in the banking sector?
The announcement this week that Stephen Hester, chief executive of majority taxpayer owned Royal Bank of Scotland was to receive almost a million pound bonus payment for 2011 has stirred up a hornet's nest. Hardly had Cameron said that the bonus payment would be much less than last year, than the figure was announced. It may be less than last year's bonus payment but has still left the PM embarrassed. That is to say, it should have left him embarrassed.
This is not all though. Today, January 28, 2012, it has been revealed that Hester is in line to receive even more shares in bonus payments before the end of 2012. It looks like their value will exceed the offending bonus payment and be in the region of 12 million shares. This does of course give him a vested interest to work hard and make sure that share values for RBS soar. However doesn't he already receive a huge salary to do just that?
It may be worth noting that currently those 12 million shares would be worth £3million and that the UK taxpayer owns 83% of the bank. Are we in for a share bonus payment then? Do we have the power of the shareholder to veto these bonus payments to bankers? Are you joking?.
Hester has done a good job at turning around the fortunes of RBS but it should never be forgotten that this was at a price. The cost? Thousands of redundancies. How can the bonus be justified then? Whilst some maintain that without such huge bonus payments the UK would not be able keep bankers working in the country you have to question that. Does this mean that these people have no morals? No loyalty? They will sell their souls to the highest bidder? If that is the case we might be better off without them.
Lord Mayor of London, Tory, Boris Johnson said, “I am disappointed that [the board] haven’t found further ways of ensuring that Stephen Hester’s bonus payments are received only if the share price rises and that the taxpayer, that’s you and me, get the money back.” That's you and millions of others sharing the same opinion then Boris.
The latest news is that RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton will not be accepting his £1.4m bonus for 2011. This may be designed to take the media attention from Hester but will simply inflame the situation. Come on Hester, and take a leave out of Mr Hampton's book.