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Five banking bosses take GBP 52million in bonuses

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Excessive greed is to blame for the collapse of Britains banking system.

As the Treasury Select Committee will today (Wednesday) look at evidence on pay in the banking sector, research from trade union Unite and independent think-tank Labour Research Department (LRD) shows basic pay and cash bonuses of five CEOs at Lloyds TSB, RBS, Barclays and HSBC totalled more than £52 million.

The report shows the total remuneration for a handful of executives included in the annual reports of major British finance organisations and UK subsidiaries of major overseas parents totals £729.3 million.

These statistics come only days after US bank Citigroup announced it plans to axe 52,000 jobs worldwide because of the economic downturn.

Unite is calling for the Government to appoint a representative to the boards of bailed-out banks to ensure pay in the future is ‘fair and transparent'.

Unite joint secretary Derek Simpson said: "Directors will be foregoing their cash bonuses this Christmas but thanks to them millions face uncertainty in the new year. We need action in the long-term to end the current rot across Britain's boardrooms. Boardroom pay practices are not only unjust, they have contributed to the worst financial crisis in decades."