Capping bonuses is the way to go

Britain’s economy was dealt a huge blow by the mismanagement of our banks and the stupidity of our financial industry.

For that the ‘bonus culture’ in the City of London must take much blame.

Greedy bankers chasing enormous bonuses indulged in short term thinking and risky speculations that led to financial collapse.

I welcome the latest agreement between MEPs and European governments to cap bankers’ bonuses.

The agreement will limit the possible bonuses that can be paid to 100 per cent of salary (only!), or up to 200 per cent if shareholders agree, but this will not seem tough enough to those who wonder why million pound bonuses have to be paid to people just to do their jobs.

The curb on bankers’ bonuses was the price demanded by MEPs for supporting new rules that require financial institutions to hold more capital.

We are also insisting these organisations reveal how much profit they are making in each country, and what taxes they are paying.

It will be pan-European legislation, so London, Frankfurt and Paris will have to comply equally.

To those who say these measures will damage Britain’s financial industry, I invite them to remind us of the mind-boggling sums we are now paying because of the scale of the problems this industry has created.

Catherine Bearder

MEP for South East England