German watchdog criticizes Deutsche Bank's bonus policy: report

FRANKFURT Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:52am EST

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A man walks past Deutsche Bank offices in London December 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German financial watchdog Bafin has spoken out against Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) bonus policy and urged the country's flagship lender to abide by new remuneration rules, a German magazine reported.

In Bafin's view, bonus payments for the bank's top managers are still too high and incentivize investment bankers to engage in risky trades, WirtschaftsWoche reported in a pre-release of its Monday edition, quoting Deutsche Bank sources.

Bafin, which is set to publish the results of its latest study on bankers' pay on Monday, was not available for comment on Saturday. Deutsche Bank also declined to comment.

In November, Bafin banking supervisor Matthias Jaeger said "severe deficits" still exist in banks' efforts to implement the bonus rules, though he acknowledged pay structures at all banks had become more sensible and sustainable.

According to the magazine report, several other banks have also been reprimanded by Bafin and asked to change their remuneration policy according to the new regulation.

European rules say that from this year, bankers' bonuses cannot exceed annual salary, or twice that if shareholders approve, to curb the sort of excessive risk-taking blamed for the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Successful bank managers have so far on average quadrupled their salary through bonuses.

Deutsche Bank has more than 1,300 of the so-called risk-takers, whose pay is being regulated under the new EU rules.

More than 3,500 bankers in Europe earned 1 million euros ($1.4 million) or more in 2012 after a big jump across the continent and in Britain.

Salaries have not dropped in line with banks' revenues since the crisis, consultancy McKinsey found, despite a series of huge, taxpayer-funded bank bailouts.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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