A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, January 29, 2012

RBS boss Hester caves in over £1m bonus

Stephen Hester sees his RBS bonus evaporate
I had thoughts this morning of a navvy knocking on Stephen Hester's door, the front door to his Oxfordshire home. "Sorry to tell you Mr.Hester, but the Haitch Ess Too is coming straight through here and you have to vacate". I wondered if Mr.Hester would go meekly or create a stir. Just fantasy, of course.

So now we hear that Mr.Hester has bowed to the inevitable and given up his bonus. He won't be taking it. The board of RBS was urging him to fight. After all, he has done some good at the bank. He's cut dodgy lending, sold off some businesses that were not needed and has generally steered the bank into calmer territory. In normal times he might well have deserved this bonus without a murmur. But these are not normal times. We live with vast government debt, vast personal debt and businesses going bust, mainly retail, on a weekly basis. Those running corporate business may or may not be savvy with their business dealings. But their political antennae are rusty and picking up duff signals. That RBS could not see or hear the rumblings of discontent are testament to their failure to comprehend. Actually, they probably did realise but chose to be defiant and bolshie.

If we are all in this together, it includes the banks. They should not be made to wear sackcloth and ashes, but it must surely be prudent for them to be aware of the backlash these bonuses cause. If they have advisers let them "advise" better. However, if the bosses of banks and other corporates wish to fight public opinion over this issue, then they may rue the day.


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