David Cameron's former adviser Steve Hilton: Bank bosses should be paid the same as top civil servants

Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Steve Hilton left his role as prime minister's director of strategy in 2012. (Source: Getty)

David Cameron's former director of strategy has argued that the bosses of some large banks should be paid the same as top civil service employees.

Steve Hilton, now based in Silicon Valley since stepping down from the role in 2012, claims that banks that require bailing out should be considered part of the public sector.

Capping bank bosses' pay to civil service levels would be a "powerful incentive" for internal reform and would lead to a more secure financial system, argued the current visiting professor to Stanford University.

Stuart Gulliver of HSBC and Antonio Hort-Osario of Lloyds Banking Group were the two most highly-paid bank bosses in 2013 with pay of €9.5m (£7.4m) and €8.8m respectively.

Read more: Tory MPs demand end to banker bashing

Hilton told the BBC:

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 as the civil service pay levels.

I think that would be a powerful incentive for these companies to actually choose what they want to be...The goal here is to create a much more secure financial system where these giant companies posing a threat to the whole financial stability of the economy.

Cameron's former adviser, known for playing a leading role in the modernisation of the Tories during the early years of the Prime Minister's leadership, is promoting a book, More Human, in which he argues that deep structural problems and a lack of competition in the modern world which has left the majority of the population alienated and locked out of politics.

On the Today programme the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, Anthony Browne, argued that reducing bank bosses' pay to civil sector levels would cause "catastrophic damage" to the financial sector.

Related articles