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Bank Bonuses

Volume 572: debated on Tuesday 10 December 2013

In September, the Government launched a legal challenge to specific remuneration rules under the EU capital requirements directive IV. These rules, rushed through without any assessment of their impact, will undermine the significant progress we have made to align remuneration with risk by pushing up fixed remuneration rather than pushing it down. In our view, regulating remuneration in this way goes beyond what is permitted under the EU treaty.

I am grateful to the Minister for his answer, but does he not agree that rather than using taxpayers’ money to protect the incomes of investment bankers earning more than £1 million per annum, that money would be better spent on enforcing our minimum wage legislation?

I am not going to take any lectures from the Labour party on bankers’ bonuses. Under Labour, bankers’ bonuses went up fivefold and peaked at £11.5 billion in 2007-08. At the very same time, the Labour Government were using taxpayers’ money to carry out the world’s biggest banking bail-out. Last year, the bonuses were down 85%.

Given what Robert Peston has described as the “stupendous mismanagement” of the Co-operative bank, which has exposed creditors to huge losses, does the Financial Secretary agree that no bonuses should be paid at that bank, and that anybody who has received bonuses or benefits from it should consider paying them back?

I agree with my hon. Friend. I understand that the Co-op bank has made donations to at least three members of the shadow Treasury team. It has been reported that the shadow Chancellor used his £50,000 donation from the Co-op group last year to hire a speaker—

Order. That has absolutely nothing to do with the Minister’s responsibility for a proposed cap on bank bonuses. I think he probably knew that; if he did not, he certainly does now.