Boris Johnson has told the BBC’s Daily Politics he will continue to stick up for bankers in the City but suggested the bonus to RBS Chief Stephen Hester was wrong.
The Mayor has previously called for the Government to scrap the 50p tax rate and warned that “banker bashing” would lead to firms leaving the capital.
However amid widespread criticism of Hester’s almost £1m bonus, Johnson told the programme “the taxpayer bailed out RBS” and questioned why the bank wasn’t being run on a “public service ethos”.
He denied suggestions from presenter Andrew Neil that his attitude towards bankers had shifted only because opinion polls showed him falling behind rival Ken Livingstone.
Questioned by Andrew Neil, Johnson said: “I am a great defender of them, but I’ve always said RBS was different…I will continue to stick up for bankers and the financial services industry in London”.
Johnson also defended his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying previous trips had resulted in investment in major projects for the capital, including the Cycle Hire scheme.
He said he was using his current visit to brief financiers on current investment opportunities stemming from regeneration schemes in the capital.