Guess which one’s the banker: Geoffrey Howe talks salaries with Ronaldo and Bon Jovi


Can you spot the difference between these three chaps? It’s hard I know. But the brooding, sex-in-a-suit type (near right) is Geoffrey Howe, chairman of Nationwide, who has compared the extravagant salaries of bank executives with those of “footballers” (such as Cristiano Ronaldo, centre) and “pop stars” (Jon Bon Jovi, far right).

Howe was forced to respond to members of Nationwide who attacked the multimillion pound remuneration of the board as “morally obscene”. “This is a society problem, this isn’t a Nationwide problem,” said Howe. “There is a huge mismatch between what pop stars earn, footballers earn, business people earn, bankers earn and what the man on the street earns.”

While Howe (who obviously views customers as “fans”), fails to mention that unless you keep your cash in a sock under your mattress, everyone has to choose at least one bank, he modestly misses plays down the fact that his kind are the even bigger stars. If a football team is relegated, the players might earn less or find themselves released, if a rock star makes a duff album, it doesn’t sell. But when a bank’s form slips, the bankers, who set their own performance targets, only seem to earn more...