According to the television executive Michael Grade non-executive directors are like bidets – no-one is sure what exactly they are for, but they add a touch of class.
My last blog highlighted an opportunity for the Scottish Government to take action no matter what the outcome of the referendum on September 18 and this one is the same. No matter whether we are heading for independence or sticking with the Union, there is a strong case for co-funding the Green Investment Bank.
Whatever the referendum result on September 18, the Scottish banking system needs reforming and the Scottish Government has a golden opportunity to try to do something about it.
Shareholders in Lloyds and RBS will get their day in court. That will at least enable them to vent their frustrations and further expose the stupidity of the boards and executives who presided over the catastrophic drops in the value of their investments, but both actions are likely to result in pyrrhic victories.
Can the TSB claim to be the John Lewis of Banking? Following my blog post last week questioning that claim, here is the detailed response from Anthony Hus, Media Relations (Corporate) Manager at the TSB.
I read with interest your recent blog titled “The ‘John Lewis’ of banking? Not with this level of bonus” and thought you might like some further background on TSB’s new reward strategy and how we see this as a step forward for the banking industry, as well as how it compares to the John Lewis Partnership model.
It’s a measure of how inured we have become to the excesses of bankers, and how numbed by high numbers, that when TSB announced its pay policy recently a limit on the maximum pay of its chief executive to £1.65 million — 65 times the average salary of its ordinary staff — could be presented as modest.
There now looks to be a more than even chance that we taxpayers will get back the money we pumped into Lloyds to prevent it going bust after the disastrous takeover of HBOS in 2008-9.
How much is a banker worth? The question arises as top earners squeal over European Commission proposals to close the growing gap between the amount paid to chiefs and workers. Reporting on the draft plan which would give shareholders the right to vote down the ratio between board pay and average full time worker, the Financial Times estimated that executives in the big banks are paid in excess of 100 times more than the average worker on their pay roll.