Banks told to disclose pay data

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The Independent Online

Britain's banks are to be ordered to disclose more details of their highest earners' pay.

The Financial Services Secretary, Lord Myners, has tabled draft plans which would require lenders to detail the numbers of their staff earning more than £500,000, including salary, cash bonuses, share awards, pensions and other benefits and expenses.

The disclosures will be made in the form of bands of £500,000 up to £5m and then rise in £1m increments. That is tougher than the proposals tabled by Sir David Walker in his review into banking governance.

He suggested publishing numbers of earners from £1m to £2.5m, £2.5m to £5m and bands upwards thereafter.

The proposals make the British regime significantly tougher even than, for example, Hong Kong, where banks have to disclose details of the very top earners in addition to any boardroom packages.

In a speech at the British Venture Capital Association yesterday, Lord Myners said: "Remuneration remains contentious. The UK cannot be accused of shirking this difficult challenge. From the outset of the crisis, the Government has been focused on eliminating rewards for failure and ensuring that remuneration does not incentivise excessive risk taking or inadequate risk management.

"And we will continue to lead on this issue. David Walker's proposals will be implemented to give shareholders much more power and information to shape remuneration policies at banks. And in some cases we may go further."

Lord Myners said there would be consultation but "as the Chancellor has said: most people are convinced that more disclosure is important, if we are to have real transparency on remuneration practices and effective shareholder stewardship."

However, he and the Government have stopped short of naming the individuals concerned, despite the ongoing controversy over bankers' pay and bonuses.

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