G20 'split on bank pay regulations'

31 March 2010

There is a growing divide among G20 nations about how bank pay should be regulated, a new report has suggested.

According to a paper from the Financial Stability Board, while European and American regulators have already moved to introduce new banking legislation, developing nations such as Brazil, Russia and India are moving more slowly on the issue.

Last year, the G20 pledged that banks would be forced to link pay levels to risk, reports the Financial Times.

Since that date, eight countries, including the UK, Germany and France, have put legislation in place that follows the G20 proposal that 60 per cent of large bonuses are deferred and made subject to potential clawbacks in the event of poor financial performance.

A further seven, including China and the US, say they are currently enforcing the G20 pledge through their regulators.

But Brazil and Mexico have stated they will not bring in such rules until later this year, while India, Indonesia and Russia are yet to provide a schedule of when or if they will introduce such measures.

The leaders of five nations, the US, the UK, Canada, France and South Korea, have recently sent a joint letter to other G20 leaders urging them to deliver on their promises to improve the regulation of the financial sector.

"We all have a mutual responsibility to deliver on all our commitments to address the weaknesses that led to the financial crisis," it said.

"This will require that we maintain our vigilance to address the required reforms and guard against complacency as our economies recover."

Earlier this week, British chancellor Alistair Darling also stated that an international levy on banks to provide funds for potential future bailouts may be possible.

In comments reported by Reuters, he said that he was "more optimistic" about such a tax being put in place than he was six months ago.

He added that finance ministers from across the world are becoming "more amenable" to the idea.

By Gary Cooper

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