Osborne left isolated over EU bonus caps

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Osborne left isolated over EU bonus caps

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British Finance Minister George Osborne has told his EU counterparts that he cannot support current plans to cap bankers’ bonuses.

He won limited support to tweak the proposal to cap payouts to a year’s salary.

But the UK has no allies in its late bid to ditch the provisional agreement already struck with the European Parliament.

“The presidency achieved the result it looked for at ECOFIN council today. The space for further negotiations is quite narrow and it depends, obviously, on the good will of the Commission and the Parliament,” said Michael Noonan, the Irish finance minister.

The bonus limit is one of the so called Basel III package that sets new rules on fiscal discipline for banks, including higher rates of liquidity.

The European Commission said many people blamed bankers and speculators for the financial crisis

Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, said: “This irresponsible behaviour that allows bonuses to be paid out without a limit, means certain bankers were paid more then more risks they took. That’s enough, that’s enough. It’s over.”

Our correspondent Isabel Marques da Silva said: “These new rules can be adopted by majority only, so UK cannot veto them . But after the so called Tobin Tax being adopted by 11 EU countries, it seems that the gap is widening between Britain and the continent’s biggest economies in how to regulate Europe’s financial markets.”