Darling wins bonus reforms

By Liz Stephens

Britain’s top five banks have agreed to bonus reforms it was revealed by chancellor Alistair Darling last night.
The banks have agreed to accept the principles on bonuses set out by the G20 in Pittsburgh last week – which include publishing the total pay of their highest earners and linking bonus payments to long term success.
Up to two-thirds of top executives bonuses will now have to be deferred over three years and at least half the bonus will be paid in shares so it is linked more closely to the overall performance of the company.
However, the banks will not be restricting the size of their ‘bonus pools’, nor will they be itemising individual earners pay as suggested by Lord Myners earlier in the year.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne said: “The proof will be in the pudding when we see the scale of the bonuses that are paid out at the end of this year.”
There was also criticism of the announcement after it was revealed that much of what the chancellor announced the banks had agreed to had already been agreed by them in the new FSA guidelines which will come into force next year.
The banks involved will be HSCB, Barclays and Standard Chartered.

Lloyds Banking Group and RBS – which are part-owned by the taxpayer – have also signed up to the new rules on bonuses.