Eric Chalker, director of the UK Shareholders Association, launched a scathing attack on pay and said that state-backed lenders, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, should lead the way in cutting the salaries and bonuses of senior staff. “It has become a truism that senior bank pay is grossly excessive and, some would say, immoral,” he said. Mr Chalker points to the potential sale of the state’s holdings in Lloyds and RBS, which stand at 41pc and 82pc respectively, as a potential catalyst for change in the banking industry. “It has a great opportunity here, which could set the example for others to follow with the potential to produce a sea change in director behaviour. It is an opportunity that should not be wasted,” said Mr Chalker.