Public is still angry at City

THERE is overwhelming public support for a cap on bankers’ pay and a windfall tax on bonuses, according to a poll.

A YouGov poll has found that 76 per cent of people would support a cap on bonuses, while 59 per cent would back a windfall tax on bankers’ bonuses.
Of that, 60 per cent say the tax should also be levied on hedge fund managers and those working for private equity houses.

The survey also found support for tighter regulation of the financial sector, with seven out of 10 respondents saying they wanted a separation of retail and investment banking similar to the now-defunct Glass-Steagall Act in the US.

Three out of four surveyed said that banks hadn’t changed in the wake of the financial crisis, while there was also popular support for a levy on financial transactions or a “Tobin tax”.

The findings come as RBS boss Stephen Hester yesterday decided to forego his £1.6m bonus in the face of mounting populist anger against bankers.

Hester’s decision follows similar moves by Barclays chief executive John Varley and president Bob Diamond, who both waived their 2009 bonuses despite doubling pre-tax profit to £11.6bn.