One of the architects of the EU's cap on bankers' bonuses has called for the UK government to be sued for allowing banks to sidestep the new rules as two more high street banks were preparing to hand their bosses up to £1m in extra pay to avoid the clampdown.
"Dear shareholder, this new EU law capping bonuses is silly so we've decided to exploit the enormous and very obvious loophole. Stuff Brussels: we're not paying ourselves less. Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated."
Ross McEwan may work in the same oversized office that used to be occupied by Fred Goodwin, but the bank he is running is already markedly different from the global empire that the disgraced Scottish banker built up before it collapsed into a £45bn taxpayer bailout in 2008.
The bosses of Britain's biggest banks are on course to be awarded millions of pounds in share payments to circumvent a Brussels-imposed bonus cap – a move that risks inflaming the toxic row over City pay deals.
British savers could suffer a £3.6bn cut in the value of their savings following the introduction of a financial transaction tax, a study into Brussels plans to raise a levy on City trading has claimed.
Mark Carney has stepped into the row about bankers' bonuses with a demand that a large chunk of the pay packages for senior staff should be deferred "for a very long time".
Britain's four biggest banks will be among 124 across the European Union being subjected to stress tests later this year in an attempt to end lingering doubts about the strength of the banking system five years on from the financial crisis.
Royal Bank of Scotland is on track to report up to £8bn in losses for 2013 after taking a fresh hit for conduct and mis-selling issues, forcing its top management to refuse any bonuses for the year.
Antony Jenkins, the boss of Barclays, warned yesterday that there would be another financial crisis once the current crop of bankers, who bore the scars of 2008, had retired or died. "I don't think we're going to have another crisis like this in the next five years, but we will have another problem when all the people like us … have retired or died."
Royal Bank of Scotland risks fuelling the row over pay as it considers how to follow rivals that have devised ways to avoid the EU bonus cap and maintain their bankers' multimillion-pound pay cheques.
Senior bankers will face up to seven years in jail if they are found to have committed a new offence of reckless misconduct being proposed by the government as part of a series of measures to clean up the City in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis.
The guys at the top really haven't a clue.