Fri, Mar 01, 2013 - Page 15 News List

EU agrees Basel III deal to help rein in bankers’ bonuses

AFP, BRUSSELS, Belgium

The EU has reached a deal to cap bankers’ bonuses, which critics say played a major role in driving the financial crisis, officials said yesterday.

The deal was struck early yesterday, with the European Parliament and the EU’s current Irish presidency agreeing on how to implement new rules for the banking sector.

“For the first time in the history of EU financial market regulation, we will cap bankers’ bonuses,” said MEP Othmar Karas, the negotiator for the parliament.

The new regulatory framework is known as Basel III, an internationally-agreed set of rules which tighten up bank capital requirements.

The negotiations on Basel III implementation in the EU have dragged on for some 10 months, in part because of the European Parliament’s desire to peg back bankers’ bonuses which critics blame for helping drive the speculative approach in the lead-up to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Basel III was supposed to have been implemented from January this year but the timetable has slipped, with the US announcing in November last year that it too would not make the deadline.

The accord reached overnight will now go forward to EU finance ministers when they meet next week in Brussels.

Basel III notably requires the banks to build up their capital buffers and reserves so that they will be better able to withstand any new crisis.

Full details of the EU accord were to be released at a press conference in the European Parliament yesterday.

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