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EU countries consider reforms to cap banker bonuses

Published on Feb 12, 2013 1:19 PM

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Bankers' bonuses could be capped under plans examined by EU countries this week, as politicians attempt to placate public anger and tighten controls over an industry blamed for its role in a global financial crisis.

The proposals, part of a drive to implement so-called Basel III rules aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2007-09 crisis, would cap banker bonuses at the level of their salaries to stop huge payouts from encouraging excessive risk-taking.

However, bigger bonuses - up to twice the banker's salary - would be possible if shareholders agreed, according to an internal document obtained by Reuters.

The issue has been gathering momentum across Europe and the United States since US mortgage debt triggered the bursting of a global credit bubble more than five years ago, leading social activists and many investors to challenge the multi-million-dollar packages awarded to bankers and business leaders.

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