12 Classic Banker Bonus Quotes

A Billion Dollars

Here's a list of 12 classic bonus quotes.

1. 'Our shareholders love what we do. They love our universal banking model, they love the diversity of risk and they love our diversity of profits. What they say to me is, ‘Bob, don’t be uncompetitive (and pay below market bonuses)'.

Bob Diamond, CEO, Barclays (The Daily Express)

2. 'If our stakeholders want to defuse the biggest balance sheet time bomb in history...then you need good, commercial people motivated to do a good job'.

Stephen Hester, CEO Royal Bank of Scotland  (The Financial Times)

3. 'It would be unacceptable I think from the point of view of our shareholders if we’re unable to attract and retain the type of people required to manage the risks in the bank and actually deliver profit to those shareholders. The thing we often seem to miss in these debates, which tends to be personalised into the management of the companies, is actually it’s the shareholders who at the end of the day will say 'you know what ? You’re not delivering the P&L because of the way you’re configured'.

Stuart Gulliver, CEO HSBC (The Daily Telegraph)

4. 'I make no apology for attacking spivs and gamblers who did more to the British economy than Bob Crow (the RTM union leader) could achieve in his wildest Trotskyite fantasies, while paying themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer'.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable

5. 'They (firm executives) have four categories (for how staff will feel when given their bonus number): happy, satisfied, dissatisfied, disgusted. If they hit happy, they've screwed up - they never want you happy.

'On the other hand, they don't want you so disgusted you quit. The sweet spot is somewhere between dissatisfied and disgusted'.

An observation allegedly made by ex-Deutsche Bank bond trader Greg Lippmann (The Big Short - Michael Lewis)

6. 'Bankers are saying, ‘Wait, I have to feed my family. Their bosses are saying, ‘If you don’t like it, leave.’ It’s pretty tough talk, but banks are doing it because they can. It’s a tough job market'.

Gustavo Dolfino, a former Wall Street banker turned executive headhunter with White Rock Group (The New York Post)

7. 'The good people that firms are really afraid of losing will be paid very well, but maybe not as well when high margin businesses aren't there to subsidize them. It will be much more difficult to pay those bankers who didn't do well'.

Richard Lipstein, Managing Director, of executive search firm Boyden (The New York Post)

8. 'Personally, I'm all for bonuses. I hope those bankers get the biggest payouts they have ever had - as long as they come spend them in my showroom'.

New York-based car dealer (Here Is The City)

9. 'Bonuses are performance-related; I just don't get the fuss. When we screw up, we don't get a payout. When the economic shinks, we receive less. These politicians and lawmakers, of course, get paid the same no matter how they screw up - now that's criminal'.

London-based banker (Here Is The City)

10. 'Bonus are performance-related - and don't I know it!'

Unnamed UBS banker (Here Is The City)

11. 'What's a bonus ?'

Unnamed RBS banker (Here Is The City)

12. 'No matter how big your payout turns out to be, act as if your boss has just asked you to run naked through Battersea Dogs Home with your nether regions smeared in Pedigree Chum - seconds to learn, but years to master!'


JefferiesAnd the Best Place to Work in the global financial markets 2017 is...

Register for Financial Markets News Alerts