Skip to main content

European lawmakers defend decision to cap banker bonuses

By Oliver Joy, CNN
March 1, 2013 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Policymakers of the 27-nation European Union agreed a provisional deal to cap bank bonuses
  • The proposal needs to be formally agreed by ministers and threatens to spark an exodus
  • The move is part of a broader push by EU policymakers to bring stability to the region's banks

(CNN) -- European politicians won't dictate to bankers who will be paid bonuses, according to Philippe Lamberts, European Member of Parliament.

This week policymakers of the 27-nation European Union agreed a provisional deal to cap bonuses for bankers at a year's salary, or two years' pending shareholder approval.

The provisional bill has been heavily criticized by Britain's David Cameron, who says it will unfairly impact London's financial sector -- the largest in Europe -- but Lamberts insists the deal isn't singling out the UK.

"We are not picking and choosing who may get bonuses," Lamberts, a member of the Belgian Green party, told CNN's Richard Quest.

Although the proposal still needs to be formally agreed by ministers, it threatens to spark an exodus of top baking talent from Europe as financiers seek to avoid the cap.

If implemented, experts say the policy would be particularly detrimental to the UK economy, which relies heavily on London's finance sector.

But Lamberts says he is not "overly concerned" if the banker flight rids the European financial sector of excessive risk and circumvention of banking regulation.

Lamberts said: "I am not denying that there are maybe banking jobs moving away from Europe."

The move is part of a broader push by European policymakers to bring stability to the region's banks. Last year, legislators in Brussels agreed to give the European Central Bank regulatory powers over eurozone banks.

"When banks are putting together remuneration schemes [where there] are very strong incentives to take excessive risk, if not to breach the law, then we have to intervene," Lamberts added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1943 GMT (0343 HKT)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the eurozone's problems are not solved, but "we are in a much better shape than we used to be some years ago."
September 4, 2013 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
The G20 is held in Russia but, amid disagreements over Syria, can anything be done? John Defterios investigates.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Summer could not have come soon enough for Lloret de Mar, a tourist resort north of Barcelona. Despite the country's troubles, it's partying.
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
The euro club has suffered major shockwaves but its newest member has emerged as an economic star. What;s behind Estonia's success?
May 29, 2013 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)
The global recovery has two speeds: That of the stimulus-fed U.S. and that of the austerity-starved eurozone, according to a new report.
May 14, 2013 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
The flags of the countries which make up the European Union, outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The "rich man's club" of Europe faces economic decay as it struggles to absorb Europe's "poor people", according to economic experts.
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Europe's competitiveness is threatened as manufacturing companies scrambling to find enough skilled engineers.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Spain's economic crisis is in its sixth straight year yet tourism, worth 11% of GDP, is holding its own, one of the few bright spots on a bleak horizon.
May 2, 2013 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
As European financial markets close for the spring celebration of May Day, protesters across Europe and beyond have taken to the streets to demonstrate.
April 26, 2013 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
As Croatia prepares to enter the 27-nation European Union, the country's Prime Minister says Italy must return to being the "powerhouse of Europe."
April 25, 2013 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Spain's unemployment rate rose to a record high of 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013, the Spanish National Institute of Statistics said Thursday.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
The financial uncertainty in Cyprus is generating images of long lines at ATM machines and anti-European Union protests.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Cyprus will "step up efforts in areas of fiscal consolidation." Where have we heard that before? Oh yes. Greece.
March 23, 2013 -- Updated 0139 GMT (0939 HKT)
The Cyprus debt crisis is being felt by the banks but also by the people who work at them. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
March 22, 2013 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on a Russian hotel maid caught up in Cyprus' financial crisis.
March 18, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Never underestimate the capacity of the Eurozone to shoot itself in both feet, says CNN's Richard Quest.
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
Spain has seen hundreds of protests since the "Indignados" movement erupted in 2011, marches and sit-ins are now common sights in the capital.
ADVERTISEMENT