Barclays says bonus tax against G20 spirit

December 8, 2009

   HORSHAM, England, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Imposing a tax on bankers’ bonuses would not be in line with the principles for compensation set out by leading G20 countries last year, the head of Barclays’ <BARC.L> investment bank said on Tuesday.
   Asked whether Britain should impose a tax to deter banks paying high compensation, Barclays President Bob Diamond said: “We don’t feel that that is supported by the principles that were adopted.”
   Britain is mulling a windfall tax on bonuses in the financial sector as part of its pre-budget report on Wednesday, government sources have told Reuters, sparking concern from banks that London could lose its competitive edge.
   Diamond, who is also CEO of the Barclays Capital investment bank arm, said he was aiming for return on equity of 15 percent to 20 percent.
   “For Barclays and Barclays Capital … we still get back to 15-20 percent as the appropriate levels to be looking at in normalised environments,” he said at a finance conference in southern England on Tuesday.
   He said policymakers and regulators needed to ensure reform is coordinated across the major economies.
   “It’s extremely important today that around the large economies and financial centres that we create a level playing field around capital, accounting and compensation,” he said. (Reporting by Steve Slater and Matt Falloon; editing by Simon Jessop) ((; +44 207 542 4367; Reuters Messaging:
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 09:31:08RTRS [nGEE5B70LS] {C}ENDS

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