Business leader: Banks give capitalism a bad name

14 March 2013

The culture of excess in British banking has caused the public to lose all faith in the country's financial system.

That is according to Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), who believes the ongoing problem of professionals in the City of London being overpaid is one of the main reasons for the lack of public confidence in banks.

During a speech delivered at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Mr Walker said it is "unacceptable" that more than 500 employees at Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays were paid more than £1 million ($1.49 million) last year, even though the banks were both involved in various scandals.

The official noted that such practices have "given capitalism a bad name" in the UK and there is an understandable level of antipathy among Britons towards financiers.

"Shareholder value has been destroyed ... taxpayers have shelled out billions to bail banks out and yet vast reward packages are still being handed out," he added.

By Asim Shah

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