CAPPING bank bonuses is the wrong way to promote equality, JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon said yesterday, arguing politicians should put more effort into helping the most deprived if they want to make a positive difference.
“I don’t like the fact that we have increased inequality in the US. But you’d better be careful if you say we are having that because I pay [an employee] properly,” he told the Dealbook conference, citing poor inner city education as the biggest factor behind inequality.
“We all want an equitable society. You can do it the way Cuba tried – ok, it will be equitable, but everyone won’t have much.”
“We want to lift society up so everyone is better off. That does not mean people don’t have to pay people what they are competitively worth. If you don’t want a free society then start dictating what compensation can be,” said Dimon, who earned $23m (£14.2m) in 2011.
His view on pay stands in stark contrast to the approach from many British bankers. For example RBS boss Stephen Hester gave up his bonus last year in the face of public pressure. And the Bank of England’s Bob Jenkins yesterday called for bankers to give up more pay to win favour with investors.
Meanwhile MEPs may cap bonuses at the same level as bankers’ basic salaries.