Monday, 27 February 2012

Bankers Salaries - Are They Really Too Much?

Some Banking Bonuses Will Be Spent On An Overseas Holiday Property
 HSBC are expected to announce an annual profit of some £14 billion any time now - over US $20 billion.

And with the announcement will come a lot of comments in the media and on many a blog that the bonuses paid are excessive - some reports indicate a bonus of over £10 million can be expected for HSBC's CEO - and that this isn't right in today's economic climate - some will say even during good times it's not right - and that the profits are obscene.

But maybe the amount of profit is a good thing - and the bonuses awarded to many at HSBC are justified?

IF HSBC have made such a good profit - isn't that good given that a lot of the banks are still in debt to the taxpayer? It shows they know what they're doing, and if the banks that had to be bailed out followed what HSBC has been doing that debt could be paid off - leading to more money available for government to increase public expenditure or cut taxes, depending on your point of view as to which would stimulate the economy most.

And assumedly if the reports of a £14 billion profit are accurate, HSBC would be paying corporation tax running into billions - money that can be spent on schools and hospitals, or allowing the government to borrow less on the markets? With income tax and National Insurance being paid by thousands of employees on top of the corporation tax, shouldn't we be celebrating rather than deriding the profit made?

As for the salaries and bonuses, it could be argued that the banks making losses still shouldn't be paying these - but why shouldn't HSBC? If someone gets a multi-million bonus why shouldn't he or she be able to buy themselves a villa on the Algarve or a property in Monaco?

How do the salaries of bankers and those working in the City of London and Wall Street compare to sports people? Premier League soccer players in England are often on a few million a year, as are baseball and American footballers in the U.S.

But if a player doesn't perform well in a game, are they told by the fans that they should forfeit their wages that week? And if he is below par for the whole season will the fans demand that his salary be cut? Moved on to another team perhaps, but no question about his salary being paid back.

For loss making banks the argument could be made that no bonuses be paid and their salaries reduced, but surely not for HSBC and their staff?

For more analysis of whether bankers and city workers deserve their salaries visit this Monaco blog

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