Salaries should be reduced across all levels of the banking sector, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
‘The banking pay and conditions agreements are very wide, for ordinary bank staff as well, ’ Dijsselbloem told the Telegraaf. Salaries are banks’ biggest costs, the minister said. ‘There are all sorts of reasons to reduce the banking sector pay deals, and that has to happen now.’
Pointing out that the big banks have been bailed out by the taxpayer, Dijsselbloem said: ‘We have kept jobs thanks to state support. So I think it is only reasonable workers contribute as well.’
The minister said he wants banks to take action themselves and that it is not the job of the government to intervene.
The minister’s comments follow the nationalisation of SNS Reaal 10 days ago. ABN Amro has already been nationalised and ING must still pay back a large chunk of the state support it received during the financial crisis.
At the time, Dijsselbloem defended the €550,000 pay deal for new SNS chief executive Gerard van Olphen, saying it was necessary to get the best man to do the job.