United Kingdom

Top bankers FINALLY take a pay cut (but not at Lloyds, HSBC or RBS) 

Bosses  of Britain's biggest banks have begun to cave in to pressure to cut their pay in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

TSB announced yesterday that its ten-strong executive committee, including chief executive Debbie Crosbie, would give up their bonuses worth several million pounds.

And Barclays said its chief executive Jes Staley, finance director Tushar Morzaria and chairman Nigel Higgins would give a third of their fixed pay for the next six months to charities working on the Covid-19 frontline.

TSB announced yesterday that its ten-strong executive committee, including chief executive Debbie Crosbie (pictured), would give up their bonuses worth several million pounds

One Barclays insider admitted that the Mail's Time to End Fat Cat Pay campaign had added to the trio's decision to give up £800,000 between them.

The cuts followed a commitment by Nationwide's boss Joe Garner this week to give up a fifth of his salary and all of his performance-related bonus, worth a maximum of £1.6million.

But the majority of Britain's biggest lenders – including Lloyds, HSBC, Santander UK and Natwest owner RBS – have yet to break their silence on executive pay. 

Crosbie said: 'It is right to give up these awards, so that we are better able to recognise the work our colleagues on the front line are doing.'

Bosses at other major companies are slashing salaries in solidarity with staff, shareholders and the public.

Companies such as Ryanair, housebuilder Taylor Wimpey and pest control firm Rentokil have all committed to reduce their executives' pay packages.

TSB's Crosbie will be surrendering up to £760,000, the maximum bonus she could receive on top of her £950,000 base salary.

Barclays' Staley will donate £392,000 of his £2.4million salary to The Barclays Foundation, which will share the money among charities tackling the pandemic.

Barclays will also donate £50million to the foundation and match employees' contributions up to another £50million. 

Banco Santander, the Spanish parent of Santander UK, announced last month that its chairman Ana Botin and chief executive Jose Antonio Alvarez would donate half their entire pay packages to charity. 

Botin made it clear that regional bosses, including UK chief executive Nathan Bostock, should consider cutting their own pay. Santander UK has yet to announce any changes.

Banks have joined hundreds of listed companies in suspending or axing their dividends, to hold on to as much cash as possible.

Pension funds and savers, who may rely on the income, have lost out on £18billion. 

And even though Britain's top banks have ditched more than £7.5billion of dividend payments, on orders from the Bank of England to preserve cash, most have yet to shave their executives' multi-million pound pay.

Those banks have been criticised for failing to 'do their bit' as they accept taxpayer help in the form of Goverment-guaranteed loans, where the Treasury will cover 80 per cent of any losses made on loans to small businesses rocked by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Debbie Hargreaves, at the High Pay Centre, told Radio 4's Today programme: 'We need people at the top showing that they're doing their bit. 

There's going to be so much hardship when this is over and it just doesn't look right, if you're leading a big company that's looking for Government help or has furloughed all of your workers, to be getting a multi-million pound payout or bonus.

'Companies that are asking for government bailouts shouldn't be paying big dividends to their shareholders and big bonuses to their executives and then expect to rely on a taxpayer bailout like we saw with the banks in 2008.'

Lord Mann, a former member of the Treasury Select Committee, said: 'In 2008, the people bailed out the banks – now bankers need to repay the compliment.'

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