LONDON, March 18 The European Union's financial
services chief Michel Barnier urged the bloc's lawmakers to
endorse rules applying a cap on bankers' bonuses, saying it was
not possible to make last minute changes.
"I would like it if we could move fast now," Michel Barnier
told the European Parliament's economic affairs committee.
"I don't think it's legally possible to expand or reduce the
scope," Barnier added.
The cap is one of the most high-profile rules from the
28-country bloc after public anger over high pay at banks, many
of which were propped up by taxpayers in the 2007-09 financial
The rule limits a bonus to no more than the fixed salary, or
twice that level if approved by the bank's shareholders, and
will affect 2014 awards to be handed out early next year.
Some members of the committee are angry with what they see
as attempts by some banks to skirt the cap.
Britain's HSBC has said it will give new
"allowances" - expected to take the form of monthly or quarterly
payments in cash or shares - to senior staff to boost their
fixed pay, meaning that higher bonuses could then be awarded. UK
peers Lloyds and Barclays have indicated they
will follow suit.
The European Parliament has the power to veto the
implementing measures written by the European Banking Authority
which determine which bankers are affected by the cap.