James Moore: 'Banker-bashing' media understates the outrage

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The Independent Online

Outlook The issue of pay clearly isn't going away for that part of the financial services industry that makes the insurers look like model citizens: the banks.

There was more evidence of that at Barclays' annual meeting. It has promised reforms, and a crackdown on the bonus culture that incites such fury among the populace of a country still reeling from the effects of the downturn and the Government's austerity programme.

But, it seems, it has a long way to go before it convinces its public. It will be interesting to see what happens next year, when it comes to the annual bonus for Antony Jenkins, the fresh-faced new chief executive who passed on what he was offered this year.

It seems unlikely that the furore will have died down. The media is not leading this debate. It is reflecting public outrage. If anything the alleged "banker bashing" indulged in by the press is understating the depth of feeling out there.

There is good reason for people's cynicism. After all, Mr Jenkins may have given up this year's annual bonus. He may get bounced into it next year. But with a long-term incentive scheme that potentially offers many times his salary still on offer, it's not that big of a gesture.