28 Feb 2013

EU officials agree to cap bank bonuses

10:29 pm on 28 February 2013

European Union officials have struck a provisional deal on new financial rules, including capping bank bonuses.

Under the agreement, bonuses will be capped at a year's salary, but can rise to two year's pay if there is explicit approval from shareholders, the BBC reports.

The deal was reached late on Wednesday. EU ministers must approve it, although this is considered a formality.

The United Kingdom, which hosts Europe's biggest financial services centre, was opposed to any of caps on bank bonuses.

London argues the rules would drive away talent and restrict growth in the financial sector.

The UK had been trying to rally other governments in the 27 countries in the EU behind its position.

Top bankers and financial traders can earn bonuses multiple times their base salaries. But there has been public outrage over bonuses following the huge bailouts of banks.

The agreement was reached during eight hours of intense talks in Brussels between members of the European parliament, the European Commission and representatives of the bloc's 27 governments.