London Bankers Prepare For More Bonus Curbs

The Sunday Times reports that London-based bankers are preparing for further attempts to rein in bonuses when the UK government releases details of its emergency budget next month.

According to the newspaper, fears are growing that the new government may attempt to make another tax grab by imposing a bank payroll tax for this fiscal year too (Labour's recent bonus tax was supposed to be a 'one-off'). Any such tax is also thought likely to take in guaranteed bonuses too, which were outside the scope of the original scheme.

One banker told Here Is The City: 'Any further attempt by the government to interfere with the ability of banks to pay what they need to for their own people will be a huge own goal. A number of international firms, especially the Americans - who employs tens of thousands of City staff - are already wary of operating in the UK, which they are coming to regard as a highly taxed and overly regulated market. It is arrogant in the extreme to imagine that foreign banks can't simply up sticks and leave for more attractive operating environments'.

In the meantime, The Sunday Telegraph reports that UK Chancellor George Osborne has admitted defeat over new EU proposals to regulate the hedge fund industry which many feel will result in firms quitting the UK. According to the newspaper, Osborne feels that the proposals are 'now too far down the track to be stopped'.

The Independent-on-Sunday, however, quotes former City Minister Lord Myners, who said: 'There isn't anything left in this directive which will threaten the viability of the UK hedge fund industry, or the long-term position of London as the centre of that activity'.

Finally, The Observer reports that Johnny Cameron, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland's Global Banking & Markets unit, is likely to be banned from ever taking another senior job in the City ever again. According to the newspaper, The Financial Services Authority has obtained Cameron's agreement that he will not apply for any managerial role which would require him to become a person authorised by the regulator.

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