Bank bonus cap alert

A CAP on bank bonuses in the EU would simply encourage banks to bump up basic pay, leading bank lobby officials have claimed.

Bankers often receive a bonus of several times their basic annual salary. but the European Parliament's economic affairs committee agreed that they should not be higher than a banker's fixed pay.

The EU introduced curbs on banker bonuses in January last year to try to reduce excessive payouts after the financial crisis: these regulations are already some of the toughest in the world.

But bank lobby groups urged caution in legislating over bankers' bonuses. A cap could make lenders more fragile by increasing fixed costs, said Simon Lewis, chief executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.