Bankers should be paid the same as civil servants, says former No. 10 advisor Steve Hilton

David Cameron's former policy guru is visiting the UK

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Indy Politics

Top bankers should be paid the same as senior civil servants, David Cameron’s former policy guru has said.

Steve Hilton, who was the prime minister’s director of strategy until 2012, said that banks subject to the government’s bailout guarantee should be considered to be part of the public sector and subject to pay restraint.

“If you are a company that requires bailing out should you go wrong then you should be considered part of the public sector and the pay of your executives should be capped at the same level of civil servants’ pay levels,” Mr Hilton told the BBC.

“I think that would be a powerful incentive for these companies to choose what they want to be … they might decide to actually split themselves up.”

He said the goal of the reform would be to create a more secure financial system.

After leaving his post Mr Hilton has since moved to California after leaving his role in government, where he lectures at Stanford University.

While in Downing Street he was renowned for his casual dress sense and passion for lateral thinking and novel ideas.


On a visit to the UK, Mr Hilton said the government had missed an opportunity after the failure of the banks to reform them because they relied on advice from City economists and former bankers.

“What you saw after the financial crash was the same people who worked in the banks coming into the government to advise the government about how to respond to the crash,” he noted.

“It’s no wonder that the response to the crash missed any opportunity to reform this sector of the economy to do anything serious about introducing any measure of competition.”

Mr Hilton added that competition authorities should be “more aggressive, generally” across all sectors where some firms were dominant.