European lawmakers voted on Tuesday to cap banker bonuses at the region’s largest institutions, as part of a major set of reforms designed to curb the financial industry’s risky behavior.
The New York Times reports that the legislation had faced major opposition from Britain, home to Europe’s largest financial center, but was outflanked in recent weeks by other European Union countries that wanted to rein in the excesses that contributed to the financial crisis.
As part of the hard-fought deal, compensation limits will restrict bonus payments to one year’s base salary, though that figure can be doubled if a majority of shareholders approve. The legislation will apply to all banks active in Europe, as well as the international divisions of European firms like Barclays and UBS.
'The rules will put an end to the culture of excessive bonuses, which encouraged risk-taking for short-term gains', said José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission. 'This is a question of fairness. If taxpayers are being asked to pick up the bill after the financial crisis, banks must also make a contribution'.
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Europe Votes To Curb Banker Bonuses
image: © Matthew Rutledge