During the banking crisis, The Royal Bank of Scotland received billions of pounds of public money to stay afloat, such that around 70% of the bank is now owned by the British people. However, after lots of job cuts, the bank are now saying that they will give around 1.5bn pounds in bonuses to key staff. Quite a few people think that this is outrageous, including the singer Billy Bragg (who is saying that he will not pay his taxes until the the chancellor of the exchequer curbs the payments), and politician John Prescott (who has started an online petition).
The other day I had an idea for an interesting psychological project. What would happen if thousands of RBS customers pledge to withdraw their money from the bank on a certain day, unless the bonuses are capped? If enough people were involved, it would probably cause a run on the bank, and so it would be a foolish threat to ignore. So, here are my questions…
– what do you think of the idea?
– from a psychological perspective, do you think lots of people would join in?
– from a legal perspective, would the scheme break the law?