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EU Seeks New Curbs to Cap Bank Bonuses
Financial Times | April 13, 2012 | 02:22 AM EDT

Bankers’ bonuses across Europe would be capped at no more than their fixed salaries under strict new curbs sought by senior lawmakers in response to continued public anger over financial sector pay.

In a sign that Brussels is hardening its stance on banker pay, European Union parliamentarians are drawing up new caps on bonuses to be included in the bloc’s latest bank capital rules.

The move comes as research from the pan-EU banking regulator reveals huge disparities in bonus sizes across the region and big differences in enforcing existing EU pay rules, which limit the upfront cash portion of a bonus to 25 percent of the total.

The European Banking Authority survey found that the median average ratio of bonus to salary across the block was 122 percent for executives and 139 percent for other risk-takers, such as traders. But one country reported an average ratio of 313 percent for traders and one institution had a ratio of 429 percent for executives and 940 percent for other staff.

European members of parliament have tabled dozens of remuneration amendments to planned legislation to implement the Basel III international bank capital rules.

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