You don't need to tell Stephen Hester, the CEO of the perpetually money-losing Royal Bank of Scotland, that his salary of $£9.6 million — $15 million — is too high. He's heard it, not just from the British taxpayers who own 84 percent of the bank after the government bailed it out to the tune of £20 billion last fall, but from his own mum and dad.
“If you ask my mother and father about my pay they’d say it was too high, so some people close to me have that view of bankers,” Mr Hester told a committee of MPs on Tuesday.
And so what did Hester, the owner of a 350-acre country estate, a $9 million mansion in London, and a ski chalet in the Swiss Alps, tell his parents? Probably the same thing he told the British taxpayer: basically, to sod off.
However, he said he had only ever asked to be paid the going rate when he agreed to become CEO in November 2008 and that his package is currently worth "close to nothing" because of the bank's depressed share price.
Philip Larkin chould have written a whole poem about this.