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ING Banker Bonuses Axed By People Power: 100% Bonus Clawback Tax Passed Retroactive To 2008

How do you say "It will never happen here" in Dutch?


An online campaign has overturned ING's executive pay policy, and the mood in Amsterdam is getting increasingly militant about bonuses at bailed-out banks´╗┐.

Source - Guardian

After a furious row over pay packages at Amsterdam-based ING in which thousands of customers threatened to make mass withdrawals, the Netherlands is now vying for the title of Europe's most bonus-hating country.

A growing Dutch political storm could end with a blanket ban on bonuses to financiers who work for institutions bailed out by the taxpayer.

ING customers mobilised on Twitter and other social networks to protest at bonuses paid to bosses at the bank, one of the biggest in the country. The threat of direct action raised the spectre of a partial run on ING, terrifying the Dutch establishment. Fred Polhout, union organiser at the bank, says: "People were outraged. We heard about the bloated sums being paid again in the City and in New York; but suddenly the issue exploded on our own front door."

Compared with the packages awarded to bankers in the US and UK, the Dutch bonuses were small potatoes. Jan Hommen, ING's chief executive, was due to receive a £1m bonus – a pittance when you consider that Stephen Hester, head of state-controlled RBS in the UK, is in line for up to £7.7m, Bob Diamond of Barclays is to collect as much as £6.5m, and some senior bankers at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are looking at windfalls of about £40m each.

"Perhaps we are so upset because we are a small country that prefers to set an example, rather than follow others," suggests Polhout.

So severe was the public reaction to Hommen's bonus that within days he had agreed to waive the award and told other ING directors to do the same.

Now the Netherlands is going through a painful period of introspection and soul-searching. Politicians have voted to implement a 100% retrospective tax on all bonuses paid to executives at institutions that received state aid as a result of the financial crisis. In other words, no banker should get a bonus until the debt is cleared, and they should return payments made since 2008.

On the streets of Amsterdam, there is little sympathy for the bankers. Emma Rohl, who works at an English bookshop in the city centre, says: "They shouldn't get bonuses at all. Why should people be paid vast sums for going into work and doing their jobs? It's utterly ridiculous."

Erick Koenig at a nearby restaurant says: "We rescued the banks from their own follies, and now they expect to be paid extra. I think they should work for free for at least five years."

The bankers' response that high remuneration is vital to retain talent and prevent Dutch financiers from defecting to overseas banks is given short shrift by Polhout. He says: "Let them go abroad if they don't like it her;, there are plenty of clever people who will take their place and work for less. Good riddance, as far as I am concerned."

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Reader Comments (12)

Gingrich fears 'atheist country ... dominated by radical Islamists'


what an idiot...
Mar 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I would love to see this happen to some bankers on Wall Street. To bad the sheeple can't stand up and demand it.

Truth is I am beginning to realize the sheeple don't stand up for any reason except to get sheared of their future's. Not to object to the shearing, but to facilitate it and then run bare-assed back to the pen.
Mar 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
Hey blogger.
Mar 28, 2011 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnly One Opinion Matters Here
Doesn't Newt know that Obama is on a Christian Crusade?
Mar 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnly One Opinion Matters Here
"then run bare-assed back to the pen." Got me LMAO!!!
Mar 29, 2011 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
In answer to your q at the start: "Het zal nooit hier gebeuren"
Mar 29, 2011 at 1:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRic

thanks for the dutch lesson...
Mar 29, 2011 at 2:03 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I don't do pens Gobi.

However, I see your penned in and bleating away as usual.
Mar 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
Maar NIET hier. (Dutch for : "But NOT here ! ")
Mar 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermohawk
In America we are going to elect them to high office...

Good one Sagebrush.
Mar 29, 2011 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Show me the money.
Mar 29, 2011 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrump on Fire
What every self serving politician would say...
Mar 30, 2011 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

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