Ethical Consumer considers any remuneration over £1 million to be excessive, so companies awarding pay of £1 million or over (in bold below) lose half a mark in the Anti-Social Finance category.
A comparison of the 2016 and 2019 figures shows that many have risen, and Citibank (which is, notably, an American company) threatens to rise out of the stratosphere. But quite a few have also fallen. We asked Luke Hildyard of the High Pay Centre for his take on this. He said:
“Top pay, in general, has been pretty flat over the past decade, though it remains extremely high by longer-term historical standards.”
He further pointed out that there have been some specific downward pressures on pay in the financial sector in the UK and EU, including increased reporting requirements and greater shareholder control, the EU cap on bonuses, and the Financial Conduct Authority’s Asset Management Market Review which scrutinized costs charged by the investment industry.
However, as Hildyard put it:
“pay in the financial services sector is still extraordinarily high.”
High pay in the boardroom plays a key part in reinforcing rising inequality globally and provides a stark illustration of why the predatory and self-interested business models we see around us need radical reform.
Why anyone would not feel adequately remunerated with the kind of still-relatively-generous sums available at the lowest ten banks will remain a mystery to most people.
Pay of the highest paid directors at each bank
|Bank||Top pay 2019||Top pay 2016|
|Banco Santander (Cater Allen)||£6.1m||£5.3m|
|Lloyds (Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Scottish Widows, Birmingham Midshires)||£5.1m||£5.5m|
|HSBC (First Direct, M&S money)||£4.9m||£5.6m|
|Virgin Money (including Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank)||£3.4m||£2m|
|RBS Group (RBS, Coutts, NatWest, Ulster)||£2m||£3.5m|
|OneSavings Bank (Kent Reliance)||£1.6m||£910K|
|Yorkshire BS (Chelsea BS, Norwich and Peterborough BS)||£971K||£701K|
|Bank of Ireland (Post Office)||£854K||£843K|
|West Bromwich BS||£659K||£636K|
In this table, '-' means that the figure could not be found.