When the elderly shareholder stood up at Barclays annual meeting a couple of years ago and called the bank’s top brass ‘greedy b******s’, she was merely expressing what many people had felt for a very long time.
Over the past 15 years or so, we have witnessed astonishing corporate greed.
There was, for example, the outrage over the U.S. executive with HSBC who was receiving more for his annual dental care than a cleaner in the bank’s City headquarters was given in annual salary.
Talk about a kick in the teeth!
Remember, too, the aptly-named Barclays boss Bob Diamond, whose perks included a £5.7 million contribution towards his U.S. tax bill.
Then there was former Burberry chief Angela Ahrendts, whose total pay of almost £17 million was topped up with a £25,000 clothing allowance.
This corporate greed is not limited to a few one-offs: the fact is that there is an epidemic of excess at the top.
This week, the High Pay Centre, a think-tank that tracks executive pay, revealed that the average pay of chiefs in the FTSE 100 index rose to almost £5 million last year —183 times the pay of the average UK worker.
Inexorably, the gap between the shopfloor and the boardroom has got wider and wider. While workers have had to put up with minimal pay increases, or even freezes, over the past four years, the FTSE 100 bosses have seen their take-home pay rise by an average of £800,000.
So that’s the Mail shouting about the new report from the High Pay Centre.
Ruth Sunderland is the Associate City Editor of the Daily Mail. Previously she was Business Editor of The Observer, and Banking Editor of The Mail on Sunday. She has been described as ‘One of Britain’s leading financial commentators’.
An editor at the Mail is on the advisory board of the High Pay Centre.
Gosh, that article was easy to place, wasn’t it?