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Archbishop of Canterbury accuses banks of hypocrisy over bonuses

by Simon Neville, Guardian

The new archbishop of Canterbury has accused banks of hypocrisy in continuing to pay their staff big bonuses while insisting they are undergoing a cultural overhaul.
 
Justin Welby – a former oil company finance executive – was speaking in his role as a member of the parliamentary banking commission looking at professional standards in the wake of the Libor and PPI misselling scandals.
 
Two months ago HSBC was also fined a record £1.2bn over allegations of money laundering for Mexican drug barons. Regulators said HSBC had allowed at least $881m of drugs money through its accounts.
 
Taking evidence from HSBC's two top bosses – its chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, and chairman, Douglas Flint – the archbishop said: "I'm increasingly baffled at the discussion we are having. What is it essentially about bankers that means they need skin in the game [bonuses]? We don't give skin in the game to civil servants, to surgeons, to teachers.
 
"There's a whole range of people who don't have that. It seems to me that you are putting huge effort into a values-based organisation and yet at the end of the day, particularly for your most senior staff who are most important as regards setting values and culture, you seem to be saying the only way you can motivate them to any significant extent is with cash."
 
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