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Video – Occupy London welcomes back Parliament with ‘executive pay’ teach out at FSA in Canary Wharf


*** Updated with video of the Occupy London Criminal Investigation Unit’s executive pay ‘teach out’ with occupiers, Labour peer Lord Maurice Glasman, Conservative MP for Wycombe Steve Baker, Gordon Kerr, a whistle-blowing former banker who now heads up consultancy Cobden Partners. ***

Pre event press release:

  • All invited to join Occupy London’s Criminal Investigation Unit’s ‘teach out’ with Labour Lord Maurice Glasman, Conservative MP Steve Baker, representatives of RBS Shareholders Group plus Gordon Kerr of Cobden Partners to debate ethics of executive pay, personal liability and corporate accountability
  • Hector Sants, CEO of FSA also invited to attend
  • Occupy London welcomes David Cameron’s rousing words on executive pay but questions his commitment.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 10 January), on the day that MPs return to Parliament after the festive break, Occupy London’s Crime Investigation Unit will hold a ‘teach out’ focusing on executive pay and bonuses outside the Financial Services Authority’s headquarters in Canary Wharf. All are invited to meet at 10am on Tuesday outside Canary Wharf tube station.

For the first time ever at an Occupy London event, representatives from Labour and the Conservatives will come together with Occupy London supporters and other concerned citizens to debate issues relating to executive pay, personal liability and corporate accountability.

Occupy London intends to focus minds on this issue before RBS and the other publicly-rescued banks make their bonus payments later in the month. Occupy London feels the time for action is now if we are to avoid further examples of corporate greed on the scale of Fred Goodwin or Mick Davis of Xstrata. [1] [2]

Confirmed panel participants include:

  • Labour life peer Lord Maurice Glasman
  • Conservative MP for Wycombe Steve Baker who raised a private member’s bill last year on accounting standards
  • Gordon Kerr, a whistle-blowing former banker who now heads up consultancy Cobden Partners
  • A representative from the RBS Shareholders Group
  • Representatives from Occupy London’s working groups.

Following their meeting with Hector Saints, Occupy London will also be inviting the FSA CEO (or one of his senior colleagues) to participate in Tuesday’s teach out. That previous meeting with Sants took place in early December, after which details of the FSA’s report into its dealings with RBS became public. In that report, the FSA admitted that much of its work, or lack thereof, was “either inadequate or deficient”. [3] [4] [5]

Occupy London responds to David Cameron’s comments on executive pay

While welcoming David Cameron’s recognition of the need to curb excessive executive pay as a step in the right direction, Occupy London suspects that attempts to stop ‘payment for failure’ and remuneration committee cronyism will have little overall impact on executive pay levels.

Peter Dombi, member of Occupy London’s Economics Working Group commented: “For all his talk about addressing public anger on this issue, the Prime Minister has systematically ignored the recommendations of Andrew Haldane, his own Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England, to reign in pay levels by using objective performance driven metrics. He has also apparently dismissed the idea of at last providing a direct link between executive pay and the average wage.

“If the Prime Minister’s rousing words on executive pay levels represent any genuine intention, one has to ask why the government recently made the use of tax havens easier. Does he think we have not realised that even more inordinate payment is delivered through non salary means, in such forms as share ownership options, which can now be even more easily hidden from the current tax system?”

When and where?

10am tomorrow, Tuesday 10 January, outside Canary Wharf Tube Station. Teach out to start at 10.30am outside the Financial Services Authority’s offices at 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. [6]

What is a ‘teach out’?

Occupy London’s ‘teach-out’ format is a variation on a panel discussion that enables the audience to participate in a meaningful way. It involves each participant giving a short exposition of their view (5-10 minutes each) followed by a structured discussion and a break out session with the audience discussing the issues in short groups. This is followed by a short Q&A based on the results of those break out sessions to conclude.

Occupy Justice to announce first hearings

Occupy Justice, currently housed at Occupy London’s fourth site – the former Old Street Magistrate’s Court – are set to announce their first set of hearings soon. Occupy Justice, who recently announced that they had reached an agreement with the owners of 335-337 Old Street to stay until Monday 23 January, have been working on a set of issues with Occupy London’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). At the weekend, CIU indicated that bank bonuses would likely be included in that first raft of cases to be brought before the court of public opinion.

[1] Greedy bankers to face prison as Chancellor prepares new law to target reckless bosses who take risks with the economy – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083684/Greedy-bankers-face-prison-Chancellor-prepares-new-law-target-reckless-bosses.html?ITO=1490
[2] Occupy London targets UK’s highest paid FTSE CEO – http://occupylsx.org/?p=1725; Updated – N30, corporate greed, Xstrata and the right to protest
[3] Occupy London meets FSA and engages with the City (including minutes); First statement of Economics Working Group – http://occupylsx.org/?p=2204
[4] RBS report: FSA’s analysis of banks was ‘deficient’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16126399
[5] The failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland: Financial Services Authority Board Report – http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Other_publications/Miscellaneous/2011/rbs.shtml
[6] FSA, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS (map link – http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Events/pdf/events_map.pdf)

© 2012 Occupy London
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