Wednesday, April 8, 2015

UK’s Biggest Banks Slash Bonus Pools By More Than £1 Billion


Wed., April 8, 2015
The UK’s five largest banks cut bonus pools by more than £1 billion last year and most also reduced pay and staff numbers, according to Financial Times analysis, potentially blunting political attacks on banker excess ahead of the general election. The sweeping changes to remuneration are revealed in figures based on the annual financial statements of Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered. Overall, bonuses at the five banks fell from around £6.5 billion in 2013 to roughly £5.5 billion in 2014, a drop of about 15 per cent when the figures for all five are totalled in sterling. The data also show the five banks set aside a little less than £10 billion to deal with fines, conduct and other litigation costs last year, including about £4.7 billion related to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance products to UK customers. Competition between the political parties over who can be toughest on bankers has intensified ahead of May’s election. George Osborne, the Conservative chancellor, used his recent Budget to increase the levy that banks pay while the Labour party is promising a windfall tax of 50 per cent on bonuses above £25,000.

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