Barclays gets £420,000 subsidy per investment banker

Thursday, April 26, 2012

 

Barclays benefits from an implicit subsidy of £420,000 per investment banker per year because it is ‘too big to fail” according to a new calculation by the Robin Hood Tax campaign released to coincide with the bank’s AGM today.

The figure is equivalent to the salary of 17 nurses. The Robin Hood Tax campaign today staged a ‘tug of war’ between bankers and nurses outside the bank’s AGM to illustrate the point.

The revelation comes amid shareholder concern about executive pay at Barclays.

David Hillman, spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, said: “It is not just shareholders who are getting a raw deal from Barclays. When times are as tough as these it is outrageous that investment bankers are effectively having their phone number salaries subsidised by the taxpayer.”

The subsidy, which was first identified by the Bank of England, comes about because Barclays is able to borrow money more cheaply as creditors expect it to be bailed out by the taxpayer if it gets into financial trouble.

Hillman said: “At a time when the Government is slashing public services it needs to claw back this money for the taxpayer. It cannot be right that while nurses and teachers fear for their jobs, the Government continues to underwrite bankers’ salaries. Money raised by a Robin Hood Tax could go a long way towards boosting the economy, protecting public services and helping poor people at home and abroad.”

Contacts:

Jon Slater 07876 476403/ Jslater@oxfam.org.uk

At the AGM      Danielle Paffard 07979817888/ danielle@robinhoodtax.org.uk

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Notes to editors

Calculations by the New Economics Foundation based on Bank of England methodology show that Barclays benefits from an annual implicit subsidy of more than £10bn. When this is divided among the 24,000 employees in its investment banking division, this amounts to £420,000 per investment banker.

The Robin Hood Tax Campaign is a coalition of 115 organisations including Oxfam, TUC, Friends of the Earth, The Salvation Army and Barnardo’s.

The campaign has 250,000 supporters and is endorsed by more than 1,000 economists and politicians from all main political parties.

The campaign is calling for a tiny tax on financial transactions to raise money to tackle poverty at home and abroad and combat climate change.