Tuesday 20 March 2018

EU will review bank bonuses in state-aid rescue cases -- Almunia

EU Commissioner Almunia: 'We won't accept rises in bonuses at State-aided banks'
EU Commissioner Almunia: 'We won't accept rises in bonuses at State-aided banks'

Joaquin Almunia, nominated to be the European Union anti-trust chief, said that regulators will look at bonuses when reviewing government rescue plans for banks.

"We'll look very carefully at what kind of use is made of the public money," Mr Almunia said at a European Parliament confirmation hearing in Brussels yesterday.

"We won't accept that with public money of banks that were rescued or supported during this period that the expenditure side will show increases in the bonuses or the amounts targeted to the financing of these bonuses or remuneration schemes."

The commission reviewed the restructuring plans of dozens of banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and Lloyds Banking Group plc, bailed out during the financial crisis to ensure they didn't have an unfair competitive advantage.

EU governments have pumped almost e200bn into banks since the crisis began in 2007.

Mr Almunia (61) the current European economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said the EU should prepare a strategy to withdraw state aid to companies. The proposals must take into account economic conditions, he said.

Mr Almunia will take over the role from Neelie Kroes who gained a reputation for pursuing large industries and companies including Microsoft Corp. for alleged anti-trust violations. Ms Kroes was nominated by European Commission President Jose Barroso to serve as telecommunications commissioner.

Mr Almunia didn't indicate any change in the EU's policy of raising fines against companies for abusing dominant market positions or fixing prices.

Irish Independent

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