Filmed by Greg Bobillot and produced by Ben Marino. Graphics by Joanna Kao
Banking sector pay is a topic that arouses political passions. But it's also a good barometer of what's been happening in finance over the last century. If you go back to the 1920s, banking sector pay relative to non-banking pay soared as governments deregulated. Then came the crash of '29 and the Depression of the 1930s, and banking sector pay fell quite sharply as governments imposed more control and financial companies became more like utilities.
Then, in 1979 onwards, essentially governments released the controls, deregulated, and then banking sector pay soared again, until in 2007, it actually topped the level of 1929. Then, of course, came the credit crash. And one of the big questions of the day is, will banking sector pay relative to non-financial pay fall back again as it did in the mid-20th century? Or is it the case that this time it's different, and banking will remain a very lucrative business?