Why the surprise at another story of bankers’ greed?

Robert Peston had his Victor Meldrew face on last night as he announced his latest scoop about Fred Goodwin on the BBC news. Gasping in that I-don’t-belieeeeve-it sort of way, he announced that the former CEO of RBS is already being paid £650,000 a year from the RBS pension fund. This incredulity is echoed on his blog:

This is a story that very briefly left me lost for words.

Really? After all that has happened in the last year or so, is he that shocked by this story? If so, he must be the only person in the country who is. As Mr Peston said on his blog earlier this week, even when he was shredding the rest of his organisation, Fred Goodwin always looked after himself. The cost cutting didn’t extend to his extravagant private jet, for example.

So why the surprise that, despite creating the conditions that led to the largest loss in UK corporate history, Fred Goodwin devoted much of his energy and expertise to securing himself a comfortable lifeboat before the ship went down?

Even if Robert Peston is still gob-smacked by the greed of bank executives, the rest of us aren’t. We know we have been well and truly shafted by these people. Another £650,000 a year is just more of the same.

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2 Responses to Why the surprise at another story of bankers’ greed?

  1. Jo Jordan says:

    But why did we allow it to happen? After all most people who read your blog are educated. We are likely to be in managerial positions and often in a staff role where it is our job to comment and evaluate.

    Bankers’ bonuses have not been a secret. There is no HR to speak-of that backs up such high levels of reward. You just have to pick up a local British HR textbook – it will mutter about pay for performance but provide no worked examples showing how you design, administer and evaluate the whole system.

    So why were we quiet?

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