Opposition Day — [17th Allotted Day] — Banking

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 15th January 2014.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:47 pm, 15th January 2014

The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point. This morning the Chancellor gave his rationale for disagreeing with the European banker bonus cap. It is a shame that he did not take a lead in trying to construct something of his own to rein in this culture. After all, we would have had a repeat of the banker bonus tax. The Chancellor’s argument is, “Oh well, this is just going to move it all on to pay and on to ordinary salaries.” Surely one of the lessons of the banking crisis is that the excessive, short-termist risk and reward bonus culture was driving dysfunctional behaviour that got us into the mess in the first place. Frankly, I am sure those bankers will try to find all sorts of little dodges and weaves to get around the rules, but we have to make the system more transparent and we need to move towards an remuneration arrangement that is much more about sustainability, stability, professionalism and serving the customers. It would be foolish for the Government to try to sue Brussels on this point and hold out against public opinion, which has had enough of this excessive behaviour.