BANK BOSSES TAKE RECORD BONUSES: After taking public money, bank CEOs pay themselves an extra $8.3 billion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 10, 2009

BANK BOSSES TAKE RECORD BONUSES: After taking public money, bank CEOs pay themselves an extra $8.3 billion

OTTAWA – Bank executives who were given billions in public funds in the last 12 months are today helping themselves to record bonuses, while the Harper Conservatives say nothing.
“People in my riding and Canadians from coast to coast to coast are struggling under the pressures of the recession,” said New Democrat Industry Critic Brian Masse (Windsor West). “Meanwhile these CEOs are pocketing billions in bonuses. It’s just not right”

It was reported in the Globe and Mail today that “bonuses at the country’s six largest banks will reach a record $8.3 billion for fiscal 2009, an increase of 18 per cent from last year and about 4 percent higher than in 2007.” (Globe and Mail, 10 December 2009)

Since the fall of 2008, the federal Conservatives made over $75 billion available to the banks to help them get through the recession. As a result of this move, Canada’s domestic banks have quickly increased their own profitability.

The United States government has already stepped in to put control on executive compensation while they receive public help and yesterday, the British government introduced a one-time 50-per cent tax on all bankers’ bonuses above 25,000 pounds ($42,790).

“Now is the time to reign-in excessive executive bonuses for companies that have received public assistance from hardworking Canadians,” said Masse. “Governments in the United States and the UK have already stepped-up and brought in restriction on this type of compensation. Now the Harper Conservatives need to do the same.”

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For more information, please contact:
George Soule, press secretary, 613-850-3448 or souleg@parl.gc.ca