City traders paid too much, says report

 

Two-thirds of people working in the City cannot say when the last two recessions took place according to a report from a think-tank linked to St Paul’s cathedral that 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, published its highly damning critique of the financial industry today after initially deciding to put it on hold following the arrival of a protest camp on the steps of the cathedral.

The report, based on a confidential poll with 515 City workers, paints a damning portrait of the Square Mile with a majority of employees admitting that they are over paid, 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 within the banking sector, less than a third of employees were able to pin point 1980 and 1991/92 as the last two dates major recessions took place in the UK. In contrast, more than three-quarters of respondents correctly answered that the post-credit crunch recession began in 2008.

Equally, almost seven in 10 people had no idea that this year is the 25th anniversary of the “Big Bang”, the major 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.

The report also revealed that 66 percent of respondents believed City traders are paid too much. FTSE 100 chief executives, stockbrokers, lawyers and bankers were also considered overpaid, whilst teachers and nurses were thought to be underpaid. Just over half of respondents (51 per cent) said deregulation leads to less ethical behaviour.

In a forward to the report, Canon Giles Fraser, who stepped down in protest over the hard line St Paul’s initially took towards anti-greed protestors, described how he had been hired by the cathedral to reach out to the City.

“It soon became clear that many in the financial services industry could not see the advantage of public debate on questions of ethics,” he wrote. “They had been widely painted as villains, and public debate on questions of ethics would simply provide the media with further material for banker bashing.”

But he also criticised his own church for failing to tackle the moral issues surrounding wealth acquisition at the expense of other topics that he said had dominated Anglican debate.

“Despite the fact that, if you count up all the references, the right use of money is the number one moral issue in the Bible, the church has preferred to spend its time arguing endlessly about sex,” he wrote.

St Paul’s has been at the epicentre of a row over the Church of England’s approach towards growing anger over whether the financial industry is to blame for the current economic difficulties the country faces.

Protestors who pitched their tents on the steps of the cathedral when they were moved on from the London Stock Exchange accused St Paul’s of siding with the banks when it announced it would use the courts to evict them. After widespread condemnation from within the Church, St Paul’s backed off but not before three clergymen had resigned over the furore.

Whether the St Paul’s institute report will be listened to within the City remains a moot point. According to those polled only 41% of financial workers said they believed in a God compared to a figure of roughly two thirds for the national average. Meanwhile 76% of respondents said they need not listen to the Church for moral guidance on how they conduct their work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss