Bonuses in the City ‘at record high’

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Bonuses in the City are at a record high and rising six times faster than wages, research suggests.

The TUC said its analysis of official data shows bonuses in the financial and insurance sector increased by 27.9% over the last year, compared with 4.2% for wages.

The average bonus in the finance and insurance sector rose from £3,146 in the first quarter of 2021 to £4,021 in the same period this year, said the union organisation.

The TUC said record payouts suggested that City executives’ bonuses of the pre-financial crash era were back.

City bonuses in March 2022 were worth a total of £5.9 billion, it was estimated.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is no justification for such obscene City bonuses at the best of times, let alone during a cost-of-living crisis.

“While City executives rake it in, millions are struggling to keep their heads above water.

“Working people are at breaking point, having been left badly exposed to soaring bills after a decade of standstill wages and Universal Credit cuts.

“Ministers have no hesitation in calling for public sector pay restraint, but turn a blind eye to shocking City excess.

“It’s time to hold down bonuses at the top, not wages for everyone else.

“The Government needs to clamp down on greedy bonus culture by putting workers on company pay boards and introducing maximum pay ratios.”

The TUC called on the Government and companies to tackle the bonus culture and high executive pay by introducing maximum pay ratios so that bonuses are no more than 10% of total pay and to ensure bonus schemes are open to all staff on the same terms, no matter their pay grade.