City workers say bankers' pay is too high


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Two-thirds of people working in the City believe that bankers are paid too much, according to a report from a think-tank linked to St Paul's Cathedral. The report was temporarily shelved following the furore over the Occupy London Stock Exchange protests.

St Paul's Institute, a church group that seeks to engage the banks with moral questions, conducted a confidential poll of 515 City workers.

A majority of respondents said that they are overpaid, that a vast gap exists between rich and poor and that bonuses should be awarded on the basis of long-term stability, not short-term windfalls.

In an indication that memories fade fast, less than a third could identify the years when the last two major UK recessions to hit the UK took place – in 1980 and 1991-92.

By contrast, more than three-quarters of respondents correctly answered that the post-credit crunch recession began in 2008.

Equally, seven in 10 had no idea that this year is the 25th anniversary of the "Big Bang", the deregulation of Britain's banking industry that allowed London to become the financial capital of the world – and an inevitable epicentre of the ongoing economic turmoil.

The results will lead to concerns that a lack of historical awareness permeates a financial sector that rarely looks beyond the short-term acquisition of more capital at the expense of long-term stability.