Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Sarkozy says...Banks must end big payouts


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told French banks they must stop paying big bonuses and dividends.

In an interview on French TV after the eurozone agreement last week, Mr Sarkozy said the country's most senior bankers would be called in for talks over the coming days with the Bank of France governor, Christian Noyer, to discuss curbing bonuses and salaries, and dividends to shareholders. "It is time to think more about clients, less about shareholders," he declared. He added that "past practices will stop as of next April", which is when bonuses and dividends are paid. The clampdown follows the decision to recapitalise French banks in the wake of Europe's sovereign debt crisis.