Germany, France want tougher bank bonus rules at G20

August 26, 2009

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck arrives to the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, August 5, 2009.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY POLITICS) BERLIN, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Germany and France want G20 nations to reach an agreement on tougher rules governing bonus payments in the financial sector, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said in an interview published on Wednesday.

“We need international agreement here as well,” the Handelsblatt newspaper quoted Steinbrueck as saying with regard to the Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers hosted by Britain next week.

British finance minister Alistair Darling said last week that the issue needed to be looked at on an international basis and would be discussed at the September 4-5 meeting in London.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced new limits on bonus payments to bank traders on Tuesday and said he would press partners in the G20 to adopt the same standards as Paris.

Bankers’ bonuses were addressed at a G20 meeting in London earlier this year and are expected to be among the top issues at both the upcoming meeting of the group’s finance ministers and its leaders’ summit in Pittsburgh on Sept 24-25.

Britain, home to Europe’s biggest financial centre, has threatened action if bankers do not change their ways, but all countries have been held back by concerns that if they crack down too hard, others will draw the benefits as bankers flee elsewhere.

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