Banker 'blackmail' attacked

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The Independent Online

EU financial services chief Michel Barnier accused bankers of "blackmail" for threatening to quit the City for more friendly regulatory regimes in Asia at a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee.

Mr Barnier, the EU commissioner responsible for internal market and services, said: "I would not be overly impressed with the blackmail exerted in which this kind of risk is mentioned."

He said new EU rules on bankers' pay were necessary and should not be seen as a threat to the City of London.

Mr Barnier added: "I very much doubt there will be a flight of talent towards Asia or elsewhere."