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Diamond trousers £6.5million

Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclays plc, who told the Commons’ Treasury Select Committee in January that the time for bankers’ “remorse” over the collapse of the British banking system “was over”, has been awarded a bonus for 2010 of £6.5million, taking his total pay for the year to about £10million. The Wall Street Journal points out that this is “less than some earlier estimates of as much as £9 million—reflecting the bank’s efforts to pre-empt extra taxes by portraying itself as socially responsible.” It is als,o according to Robert Peston, still less than at least two top executives at the bank below Board level, and possibly some traders (whose earnings are not disclosed). This is “social responsibility”?

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said:

Bob Diamond tries to convince taxpayers that the era of remorse and regret within banking is over, yet he has no shame in pocketing a seven figure bonus. There is no possible justification for this highly paid individual taking home this enormous windfall. This reported bonus demonstrates the failure of Project Merlin to bring restraint to the culture of greed within the top of our banks. While the workforce of Barclays continue to work hard, for modest salaries, their bosses continue to reap the rewards of taxpayer intervention and support for the financial services industry.”

One Comment

  1. Adam Colclough says:

    Bob Diamond famously or infamously if you prefer, said that the period of ‘remorse’ on the part of the banks was over.

    Really? I didn’t know there had been one in the first place, if there was the bankers don’t seem to have learnt any useful lessons.

    As for ‘Project Merlin’, the more absurdly macho the name given to a plan to make the banks accountable, the less real power it has to take action.

    The sad and inescapable truth is that the banks are going to go on paying their senior employees huge bonuses and taking dangerous risks with other people’s money just as they did before. They will do so for one simple reason, they have bought and paid for the Conservative Party.

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