Monthly Archives: April 2012

Nurses vs. Bankers at Barclays annual meeting

Tug of war - Robin Hood Tax vs. Banker

New figures show that UK taxpayers effectively subsidise the pay of each and every investment banker at Barclays to the tune of £420,000 a year – an amount that could pay the annual salaries of 17 nurses.

Investment bankers are enjoying this subsidy despite Barclays reporting a statutory pre-tax loss of £475m yesterday and continuing to hand out excessive remunerations. Chief Executive Bob Diamond received £17.7 million in salary, bonus and benefits despite admitting his bank’s performance was “unacceptable”. This was a key agenda point at the meeting where shareholders will vote on bank’s pay policies, with a majority expected to vote against the pay deals.

And so today the Robin Hood Tax campaign headed to the Barclays annual meeting to get our message heard.

Check out David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, being interviewed for BBC News 24 explaining how ‘the financial sector has over decades been making too much profit. It has been paying itself too much remuneration – they should be taxed more, and that money should be used to protect jobs here and save lives abroad

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City stopping the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) through donor dinners at No.10

We all now know that Conservative Party Treasurer Peter Cruddas has been selling secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior party figures in return for donations. Cruddas was caught on camera explaining that £250,000 would get you ‘premier league access’ to the PM and government policy.

Cameron has revealed the party donor ‘dinner guest list’ at number 10. At least five are top city figures: Michael Hintze (hedge fund manager, former Goldman Sachs), Paul Ruddock (hedge fund manager), Michael Farmer (hedge fund founder), Henry Angest (banker), Michael Spencer (icap founder).

We now learn that the FTT has been a topic of conversation. This was revealed by Michael Spencer (the City tycoon who owns ICAP, the biggest broker of financial transactions in London and therefore with the most to lose from the FTT) in an interview with Risk Magazine:

“I have had it first-hand from very, very senior members of our administration who I know personally and have had good relations with for a long time, that it [the FTT] will be vetoed without any doubt and without any reservation at all”.

Interestingly Michael Spencer was the Tory Treasurer before Peter Cruddas. According to political blogger Guido Fawkes, Spencer was given this reassurance by the PM “over dinner”.

David Hillman, Director of Stamp Out Poverty, said: “It is not exactly a surprise to learn that the Conservative Party are in the pockets of the City, just disappointing, disillusioning and depressing to find out how business is really done. If anything it makes our resolve as a campaign even stronger to win a Robin Hood Tax in Europe”.