Two headlines from today’s edition of The Sunday Times have caught my attention. First, according to the Sunday Times, Britain’s biggest banks are poised to hand out an estimated £6bn in bonuses. Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered are preparing big paydays for their traders and investment bankers. The Chief Executive of Barclays is likely to receive a bonus of £9.5 million; the Chief executive of HSBC is estimated to receive £10 million, whilst the CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland is likely to receive £2 million paid in shares. Last year 9 employees of Lloyds Bank were paid more than the salary of the CEO of Lloyds which is £3.4 million.
Second, the new boss of Santander Ana Patricia Botin is thought to have amassed £21 million in her pension pot which will provide a pension of £750,000. Last year when she was paid £2.68 million a further £ 1.3 million was added to her pension. The Spanish Chief Executive of Santander, according to the Sunday Times, has a pension pot worth £72 million.
These mind boggling figures are truly incomprehensible. At a time when, as a country, we are faced with austerity, pay curbs and growing unemployment, to see the fat cats get even fatter is repugnant. What makes reading these headlines even more salutary is that today I preached about Christians being a light in the world (see St. Augustine’s Blog) and having a care for the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, the sick and the dying.