BONN, Germany Jan 13 Germany's banks have made
little progress on efforts to curb bonuses of top managers ahead
of new European rules designed to control the type of risky
behaviour that fuelled the financial crisis, the country's
financial watchdog said on Monday.
Only four of the 15 banks that Bafin examined last year
capped bankers' bonuses at the level of their base salaries, in
line with the European Union-wide rule that came into force this
"We are not entirely happy with any bank," Bafin chief
Raimund Roeseler told journalists.
"No one was good and many were bad," he said.
Judging them in terms of school grades, Roeseler said the
banks fell between satisfactory and unsatisfactory.
Of the remaining 11 banks, seven would have to seek special
permission from their shareholders to approve bonuses that were
up to double base salary, while bonuses at the rest of the banks
examined were even higher.
Many were getting around the cap by not defining managers in
key positions as being "material risk-takers", Bafin said. Of
the 87 bank managers in Germany that earned bonuses of more than
1 million euros ($1.37 million) in 2012, only 40 had been
identified as being risk-takers.
"It is incomprehensible how someone can earn a million euros
and not have an influence on the risk position of a bank,"
Banks' employees in foreign locations, such as Deutsche
Bank's London-based investment bankers, were not
included in Bafin's tally.
The European Banking Authority had counted 211 managers in
the million euro category in Germany, including foreign banks.
There are more than ten times as many in London.
The bonus caps will apply to all to all bankers in Germany
in the future, regardless of their function, Roeseler said.
"I could imagine that in some business areas, the level of
pay will sink," he added.
Roeseler declined to name individual banks but made clear
that it was not only large banks that were at fault.
"We also found especially grave deficiencies at banks where
we didn't expect it," he said.