Thursday, November 25, 2010

Britain to urge EU to adopt rules on bankers' pay

LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne will this week urge the European Union to adopt transparency rules for bankers' pay, the Treasury said on Wednesday, Nov 24, but the UK has not ruled out acting on its own.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government is keen to get rules forcing banks to disclose how many staff earn big salaries adopted internationally, fearing that unilateral action could hurt the UK's attractiveness for business.

The previous Labour government backed proposals by David Walker to force banks to reveal staff numbers within salary bands from 1 million pounds (1.2 million euros) upwards -- and the new government, in power since May, has broadly adopted the same goals.

"The Chancellor will be writing to his EU counterparts to suggest new EU-wide transparency rules on bankers' bonuses in line with David Walker's recommendations," a Treasury spokesman said.

Osborne, who is expected to write to EU finance ministers within 48 hours, could also suggest the proposals at G20 level. Improving transparency for salaries in the banking sector is seen as one way to make banks more accountable as global policymakers seek to avoid a repeat of the credit crunch. - Reuters

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