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European banks face exodus of staff over regulations

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by Kay Mitchell

Headhunters have warned that staff at some of Europe’s largest banks are threatening to quit over bonus rules and other regulations.

The bonus review, the threat of big banks being broken up, as well as the growing pay divide between Europe and the US, is expected to bring a mass exodus of staff.

However, new rules within the banking industry could damage the UK’s reputation as a global financial centre, many experts have argued.

Some banks have previously hinted that they are looking to free themselves from stricter regulations in the UK by relocating.

Meanwhile, last week, US banking giants including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan provided bonuses for its London-based staff, with considerable cash elements.

However, bankers at European rivals face smaller bonuses paid largely in deferred shares.

Swiss banking giant, Credit Suisse has previously suggested it will defer bonuses for more bankers this year – other European and UK banks are expected to follow suit.

Bonuses have been a major issue for some time now and have sparked public outrage since many argued that excessive bankers’ bonuses reward the risk-taking culture that led to the financial crisis.

In the UK, the latest multi-million bonus payments for bailed out banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, are likely to enrage taxpayers even further.

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News posted: January 24, 2011

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