UK banks 'ignoring government pay pleas'

2 March 2010

British banks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are ignoring government calls to show restraint on remuneration levels, it has been claimed.

RBS has recently raised pay for its employees by around 73 per cent on last year's levels, while Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Barclays, has increased pay and bonuses by 93 per cent.

Chris Roebuck, a visiting professor at Cass Business School in London, told Bloomberg: "The banks are just paying lip service to what they think politicians and the public want to hear while carrying on as normal."

He added that the supposed changes they have made to pay levels are simply "an exercise in smoke and mirrors".

Last week, RBS recorded a net loss of $5.5 billion for 2009, while Barclays announced it had made profits of $18.2 billion last year, a 92 per cent improvement on its figures for 2008.

By Tony Aynsley

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