"At the heart of many of Wall Street's problems has been a serious misalignment between the interests of managers and shareholders. It's clear a number of investment banks overlooked basic risk controls in their drive to increase profits. This pattern of behaviour has been exacerbated by a remuneration structure which has encouraged some employees to take spectacular short-term risks, confident that if things work out well they will reap huge rewards, and that if they don't they won't be around to pay the price." - said Richard Lambert , director general of the CBI
The bonus culture has turned thousands of relatively mediocre performers in the banking industry into multi-millionaires, while top performers have earned vast sums. The head of Barclays investment banking, Bob Diamond, was paid £36m last year even though Barclays took a £1.6bn hit from the US sub-prime crisis.