Britain and the City look set to be the losers in the battle against the European parliament's plans to bring in the toughest restrictions on bankers' bonuses since the financial crisis began in 2008.
The UK appears to be leading a minority of just three countries that oppose a new rule which would limit bonuses to no more than 100 per cent of salary, or 200 per cent if approved by a super-majority of shareholders.
Britain has been arguing that such tight limits would push up basic cash salaries and weaken the impact of the bonus clawbacks that banks have started to introduce in the wake of scandals such as Libor rigging, which cost the former Barlays chief executive Bob Diamond his job. In 2011 Mr Diamond took home £17m including a salary component of £1.3m.
France strongly supports the strict limits and Germany has moved towards accepting them as a compromise.
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