Taking a break between meetings at the National Liberal Club in Whitehall, Bowles says she is not looking to change the bonus cap legislation, but acknowledges that "what angers a lot of people is that the overall sum, no matter what it is called, is too big. And to be honest there is nothing you can do about that unless there is rehabilitation of banking in general back to the ranks of normal." That is still some way off, she says.
"I think the nature of banking will change: it is going to be harder for the banks to be able to engage in risky structures," she says, citing plans to separate risky investment banking from high street operations. These are the fundamental reforms that matter, she argues, rather than "the bit on the side" about bonuses.