Regulators launch new rules governing bankers' bonuses

Bank of England Image copyright PA
Image caption The Bank of England said buyouts of unpaid bonuses by new employers would not be banned

Financial regulators have announced new rules governing bankers' bonuses.

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority say they want to "discourage irresponsible risk-taking and short-termism".

Under the new rules, senior managers could have their bonuses clawed back for up to 10 years in misconduct cases.

FCA boss Martin Wheatley said the rules were part of a wider campaign to "embed an accountable culture in the City".

They were "a crucial step to rebuild public trust in financial services", he added.

The new rules - which follow a near-year long consultation - apply to banks, building societies and some investment firms.

The main rule changes mean:

  • senior managers might not receive incentive bonuses until seven years after the performance measurement period has ended
  • non-executive directors being banned from receiving bonuses
  • bonuses could be clawed back for seven years, with an additional three years for senior managers
  • no bonuses for managers in taxpayer-supported firms
  • more explicit links between risk and reward.

The rules relating to bonus clawbacks and deferrals will not come into effect until 1 January 2016, whereas the other rules will be applied from 1 July 2015.

But the Bank of England said buyouts of unpaid bonuses by new employers would not be banned, although managers would not be able to receive the money any sooner than if they had stayed at their former company.

Andrew Bailey, the Bank's deputy governor for prudential regulation and head of the PRA, said: "Effective financial regulation involves creating appropriate incentives to encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for their actions.

"Our intention is that people in positions of responsibility are rewarded for behaviour which fosters a culture of effective risk management and thus promotes the safety and soundness of individual institutions."

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