London’s Bankers Say U.K. Wealth Gap Too Big in Church Report

London’s Bankers Say U.K. Wealth Gap Too Big in Church Report
2011-11-07 11:48:09.122 GMT

By Simon Clark and Howard Mustoe
Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) — Three-quarters of London financial
professionals said the gap between rich and poor is too big,
according to a report by the St. Paul’s Institute, a church
group that seeks to engage banks with moral questions.
The majority of the 515 finance workers surveyed said
stockbrokers, FTSE 100 chief executive officers, lawyers and
bond traders are paid too much and teachers too little, the
institute said in a statement today. Researcher ComRes completed
the survey on Sept. 12, before global equality campaigners
started protesting outside the cathedral.
The institute delayed publishing the report for two weeks
after demonstrators, inspired by anti-Wall Street protests in
New York and other cities, set up about 200 tents outside the
17th century landmark last month. Officials last week dropped
plans to evict the protesters after the demonstrations shut the
church for six days and prompted the resignations of two top
cathedral officials. Instead, the church started an initiative
with financial services firms which it said will aim to
reconnect the industry with “the ethical.”
“The concerns being expressed by some of those involved in
the protest are also shared by many within the financial
sector,” Robert Gordon, manager of the Institute, said by e-
mail. “Beneath it all is a feeling of disconnection between
many in society and the economic structures that we all rely
upon.”

Salary, Bonuses

For 64 percent of finance workers, salary and bonuses were
the most important motivation, with “enjoyment of work” a
“distant second,” according to the poll. Only about 14 percent
of respondents correctly indentified the London Stock Exchange’s
historical motto — my word is my bond, the Institute said.
Almost seven in 10 respondents didn’t know that this year
is the 25th anniversary of “Big Bang,” former Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher’s deregulation of the U.K. financial services
industry. That anniversary prompted the report.
The St. Paul’s Institute organizes debates and lectures
about ethics and finance. At an Oct. 20 event, Generation
Investment Management LLP’s co-founder, David Blood, said he
shared many of the concerns of the protesters. His fund company
manages about $6.5 billion.

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–Editor: Edward Evans, Francis Harris.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Simon Clark in London at +44-20-7673-2059 or
[email protected]
Howard Mustoe at +44-20-7073-3182 or
[email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Edward Evans at +44-20-7073-3190 or [email protected]