Plans to make banks reveal salaries over £500,000

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Banks would have to disclose the number of employees taking home half a million pounds or more under draft Government plans on top earners, it was revealed today.

The proposals are thought to have lowered the level of disclosure to £500,000 - outdoing recommendations from a far-reaching investigation into bank pay and governance last year.



City Minister Lord Myners said today that, while the issue of pay remained "contentious", the UK should not be open to accusations of "shirking" the 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," he said.



Proposals from last year's report by Sir David Walker into compensation and structures at banks are due to be implemented and are aimed at empowering shareholders to shape remuneration policies.



Names would not be published but banks would have to reveal details of the salaries in bands.



But Lord Myners said today that the Government "may go further" than the Walker recommendations on some issues.



Draft regulations are set to pose the possibility of salaries below the report's suggested £1 million threshold, with narrower disclosure bands.



"We will consult on that idea, but, as the Chancellor has said, most people are convinced that far more disclosure is important, because they will then be able to see precise remuneration practices," Lord Myners added.



It is understood that the draft proposals will call for banks to reveal the number of staff it has with annual earnings of £500,000 or more, including salary, cash bonus, share awards and pension.



The disclosure would be in bands of £500,000 up to £5 million and then rise in £1 million increments.



This compares with the Walker review suggestion of publishing numbers of earners from £1 million to £2.5 million, £2.5 million to £5 million and bands upwards thereafter.

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