UK: High bonuses to top management in banking draws ire of unions, Business & Economy News

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High bonuses to already well-paid British bankers are creating a lot of negative buzz with at least one workers’ union describing it as a ‘kick in the teeth for everyone suffering with the cost of living crisis’. The top bankers will collect their fat bonuses this week.

As per figures stated by The Guardian, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) bankers in London earned fees of USD 3.5 billion in the year 2021. These M&As were triggered by corporate takeovers fuelled by money from American buyers. The money collected in fees will soon be given to the bankers in form of high bonuses.

Four big banks (HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest) are expected to award bonuses totalling more than GBP 4 billion. These banks are expected to announce their annual results in next fortnight.

Annual profits of these four banks combined are expected to exceed GBP 32 billion.

The workers’ unions are not too happy with the situation, especially after governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey’s appeal to workers across the country to not ask for pay hikes from employers. He said he made this appeal to keep inflation in check. Bailey himself was paid £575,538 last year.

“These sky-high banker bonuses are a kick in the teeth for everyone suffering with the cost of living crisis. I hope Andrew Bailey tells his banking mates to show the same ‘restraint’ he so readily demands from underpaid workers in the rest of the economy,” said Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB union. He was quoted by The Guardian. The union represents 600,000 workers.

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