The Times reports that London-based bankers have 'scoffed' at the compensation terms being offered by the UK Treasury, as it attempts to lure some of the City's finest away to work at the Asset Protection Agency, which monitors the management of the assets owned by the government following its forced intervention into the financial markets.
According to the newspaper, the agency is looking for around 30 bankers, who will be offered a short-term contract of up to four years, with a base salary of up to £130,000. The rub, of course, is the bonus, which will probably be in the region of 10%, and the fact that there will be no pension.
But before City bankers dismiss this idea altogether, they would do well to reflect on the fact that the current Labour government, and its loyal opposition, appear to be intent on destroying London's chances to remain a top financial centre, so four years in a cushy government job might end up being a better bet than waiting for the axe to fall, as financial institutions quit London and business goes elsewhere.
City bankers are becoming increasingly worried about government plans to tax banks to raise £5bn, and are outraged by Conservative proposals to implement an industry levy. The government has said that the Conservative plan will cost jobs, and several bankers feel that the politicians are playing with fire by embarking on a policy of upping the bank bashing stakes, as they bid for votes at the forthcoming election.
One banker told Here Is The City: 'The rest of the world must be looking at our politicians and scratching their heads. We are deep in debt and heading for bankruptcy, yet the very sector that could help get us out of this mess - financial services - will be driven from our shores. Would the last person out please turn the lights off'.