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Nick Clegg warns banks of bonus crackdown

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by Kay Mitchell

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has today warned banks over their excessive bonuses, suggesting the coalition Government will take very serious action if they “pay themselves unjustified bonuses”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Mr Clegg said: “Clearly, if the banks pay themselves unjustified bonuses, we reserve the right to take very serious action on that.”

Asked if that was a warning, he replied: “Of course it is. I think it would be not in their interests at all, socially or economically, for them to be starting to award themselves (big bonuses).”

He continued: “I think it is very important that the banks understand that you cannot possibly award yourself ludicrous sky-high bonuses in an industry that has been bailed out by the taxpayer when those same taxpayers are now having to make very serious sacrifices in their own lives.”

The subject of bonuses has been a major topic throughout the world for some time now.

Bonuses have sparked public outrage since many argue that excessive bankers’ bonuses reward the risk-taking culture that led to the financial crisis.

However, the British Bankers Association (BBA) warned that further taxes could damage London’s reputation as a global financial centre.

It said: “The UK is a major international financial centre and to remain in that position we need to attract and retain the top people and that means paying global market rates.”

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News posted: September 21, 2010

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