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Friday 04th of September 2009
September 2, 2009    

EU Ministers unveil details of ending excessive bank bonuses

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by Kay Murchie

A meeting today of European finance leaders unveiled details of plans to clamp down on excessive bank bonuses.

The issue will also be high on the agenda at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting this weekend and will be a priority in the full G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in late September.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that bonuses should be based on long-term success and added that banks should be able to “claw back” bonuses if the bank later performed poorly.

However, France is proposing a series of mandatory caps on bonuses - which Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker (the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers) said he “totally supported”.

France’s proposals also received strong support from other EU ministers today.

However, Gordon Brown said he was against French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to set a mandatory cap.

Meanwhile, speaking before today’s meeting, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, whose country holds the European Union presidency, said: “The bankers are partying like it’s 1999, and it’s 2009.”

“The bonus culture must come to an end and it must come to an end in Pittsburgh,” added Borg.

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