Shareholders Call Top Firm Execs 'Parasites' Over Pay

Royal Bank of Scotland Chairman (RBS) Sir Philip Hampton told Radio 4 that investment banker pay 'continues to be astonishingly high', and admitted that it was difficult to justify the pay differential between investment bankers and those who work in the rest of the economy.

Sir Philip acknowledged, however, that RBS had to continue to pay market rate if was to retain / attract talented people to the firm. He said: 'If we don't pay our top people, they leave very quickly.....Our top people are very much in demand, and we have seen a significant loss of top people'.

In the meantime, The Independent reports that Barclays vice chairman Sir Richard Broadbent was forced to defend the bonuses paid out to staff at investment banking arm Barclays Capital at the bank's annual meeting last week. Sir Richard said: 'We are well aware of the strength of feeling on this issue. The remuneration committee is asked to make a commercial judgement about where the interests of shareholders lie. The market for talent remains very competitive'.

Finally, The Wall Street Journal reports that Credit Suisse shareholders 'grudgingly said yes' to the bank's 2009 pay policy, after hours of 'heated debate' at last week's annual meeting.

Nearly 30% of shareholders voted against the motion to support the 2009 pay policy, and there was apparently plenty of booing and hissing when the motion passed, with shareholders calling the bank's executives 'parasites' who were 'pilfering' them.

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