Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Bank stuff

There's a stack of stuff to look at today. First up, Unite has put out some stats put together by LRD on remuneration at the banks -
Unite has a detailed dossier exposing the pay of senior executives in the financial services taken from annual reports, between 2003 and 2007. The dossier shows that the basic pay and cash bonuses (excluding share based payments) of just 5 CEOs at HBOS, Lloyds TSB, RBS, Barclays and HSBC totalled over £52 million.

A few executive directors (named in the annual reports) of RBS, LTSB and HBOS, 3 banks which the government will take a £37bn stake in, have earned a combined £122 million in pay and bonuses including over £64 million in cash bonuses alone.

Excluding share based payments, between 2003 and 2007, CEOs Fred Godwin (RBS) made £15.5 million, Andy Hornby made £6.9 million and Eric Daniels made £10,2 million.

The total remuneration (excluding share based payments) for a handful of executives included in the annual reports of the major British finance companies and the majority of UK subsidiaries of overseas parents totals an astonishing £729.3 million.

Unite members are also protesting outside the Lloyds TSB EGM which seeks approval for both the HBOS takeover and the HMT capital injection.

Secondly, the TUC is one of a number of organisations giving evidence today to the Treasury select committee on remuneration at the banks, so it might be worth keeping an eye on that one.

Robert Peston has another punchy piece on his blog about the Barclays deal, this time looking at the large fees being paid to Barclays Middle Eastern investors (over 4% of the total value of the deal). As he says the fees look even more ridiculous in light of the fact that existing investors have snapped up their slice of the RCIs (the bond-like debt bit of the deal)immediately.
Arguably... Barclays has needlessly given away £300m. And don't think this is about losses suffered by funny, remote people in the City with no connection to you. It represents an erosion of wealth for millions of us saving for a pension, since most of our pension funds and life companies have an interest in Barclays. You should be concerned.

Finally Jeff Randall gives the Barclays deal the thumbs up. For him it is clearly an ideological position -
If Varley could rewind the video, he would not start from here. That said, I applaud his determination to steer clear of Government intervention. At 12pc, the Treasury's money would ostensibly be less expensive than cash from desert kingdoms, but it would come with the burden of political strings, the real price of which is always far greater than what's written in the contract.

Notably he makes the point earlier in the piece that small HBOS shareholders are kicking off about the Lloyds TSB merger (which, as the Govt supports it and will have a stake, he doesn't like). True, but I bet you they aren't kicking off half as much as small Barclays shareholders are, judging from my experience this week.

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