Bank bosses making the workers pay

The announcement of massive job cuts in the banking sector further underlines that the bank bailouts had nothing to do with defending the interest of working class people. Lloyds TSB has planned to cut up to 5,000 jobs across the UK. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plans to cut 3,700 jobs on top of the 16,000 jobs it has already axed. HSBC, who announced that its third quarter profits were “significantly ahead” of last year, will cut a further 1,700 jobs meaning 3,400 job lost since December. In Ireland, Ulster Bank which is owed by RBS had axed 1,000 jobs this year and now wants to cap pensionable salary, reduce pay and seriously undermine conditions of employment.

Contrast the treatment of these workers with “Sir” Fred Goodwin, the ex-boss of the RBS who receives an annual pension of £693,000 or chief executive Stephen Hester who received £9.7 million last year. Despite the rhetoric of clamping down on banker bonuses from the politicians, nothing has changed. US bank Goldman Sachs is on track to pay $22 billion in bonuses this year alone. In Britain, fat cat bankers were paid over £16 billion in bonuses during the last financial year alone.

With the bank bail-outs the government now owns 43% of Lloyds and 84% of RBS. Workers though are expected to pay for the bail-out through cuts and job losses. House repossessions are at their highest since 1992. The profitable parts of RBS and Lloyds will be sold off while the banks’ toxic debt will remain with the taxpayer. Instead of bailouts, we need socialist nationalisation of the banks and major financial institutions under the democratic control of working people and used the massive wealth which exists to provide for peoples needs not wasted on bonuses and profits.

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