Don't expect big payouts if you have to get through this bank boss.
The chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland described on Monday how he felt like he was having an 'out of body experience' when a banker protested to him that his £4m pay deal was unfair.
The Guardian reports that in a rare insight into the pressure top employees try to put on boards over their pay levels, Sir Philip Hampton said he had been contacted 'quite a lot' by bankers wanting bigger pay deals via email and in face to face meetings.
Since becoming chairman of RBS after its £45bn bailout five years ago – it is now 81% owned by the taxpayer – Hampton has had to fend off repeated criticism of the bonuses paid to investment bankers and to former chief executive Stephen Hester. But the 60-year-old admitted to being surprised by the demands made by some staff.
'I can tell you I've had some completely out of body experiences in recent years where I was talking to somebody about potentially getting a £4m pay package. And outrage coming across the table from the other side because they know that somebody doing a comparable job at another bank is getting £6m. This is absolutely outrageous to them, that somebody is getting 50% more', he said.
Speaking at a debate in London organised by the High Pay Centre, the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung foundation and the Guardian, Hampton did not name the banker who had been disappointed by the £4m deal. On an intellectual basis he could understand the argument, he said, if not the feeling about the size of the payment.
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image: © Mark Ramsey