James Moore: Look to Lewis, bankers

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The Independent Online

Outlook: Another retailer doing a roaring trade is John Lewis, whose profits are up a 9.7 per cent. With a partnership structure and an executive chairman whose salary is capped at 75 times the lowestpaid employee (don't weep for him, he still makes seven figures), it is seen as the acceptable face of capitalism.

The bonus policy is widely applauded, too. The boss gets the same percentage of salary as the bag-packers. So here's an interesting thought: why not apply that idea to the banks? At its results, the Lloyds chairman Sir Win Bischoff bemoaned the fact that his chief executive, Eric Daniels (whose bank lost billions), felt he had to decline a bonus that shareholders had theoretically agreed he should be paid.

Well, UK Financial Investments, the supine agency that allegedly oversees the state's stake in the banks, might have agreed it but the vast majority of taxpayers, whose hard-earned cash has kept Lloyds afloat, certainly did not.

But what if Mr Daniels's bonus was linked (in percentage terms) to the bonuses of his hard-working branch staff ? I doubt many taxpayers would complain too much if he – and Stephen Hester at RBS while we're at it – was handed the agreed-upon reward in that case. So how about it, Sir Win?