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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009
Bank workers worried over bonus

RBS sign
Banks like RBS and others are under pressure to limit bonuses

Bank staff who work in branches and call centres could end up with a much smaller bonus this year - or even lose it all together.

It's all because many politicians reckon banks that have been bailed out by taxpayers, like RBS and Lloyds TSB, shouldn't be giving big payouts.

They say it's irresponsible and is rewarding banks even though they got into trouble and lost money because of the credit crunch.

Newsbeat listener Andy, from Stafford, agrees: "We come from a work where if we make a simple mistake, we get kicked out."

However, one city worker Newsbeat spoke to defended the bonuses.

"If you've bought a football team and you've just been relegated... and you get rid of the manager, do you not pay the players on the football team?

"No, you want to incentivise the players to get back to the first division."

Wider effect

However, there are worries that any cutback won't only affect highly paid 'fat cats'.

Frontline staff, bank cashiers for example, could also see their modest bonus wiped out.

Many workers count on the extra cash, typically a few hundred pounds up to around 5000, to pay bills and make ends meet.

John, who works for a bank in Manchester, wouldn't say how much he normally got, but admitted people worked with a bonus in mind.

"People do work toward a bonus and it encourages that extra bit of commitment during the year, and people do rely on it."

Newsbeat listener Helen, from south Wales, agrees. She says it's not all about city traders, and that bonuses mean a lot to people who work in branches, HR and marketing.



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