British regulator criticized for bonuses

Stephen Beard Feb 13, 2009
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British regulator criticized for bonuses

Stephen Beard Feb 13, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: American bankers are not the only ones in trouble with the public. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says banks should be able to “claw back” bonuses if bankers don’t perform. And there’s a new set of bonuses drawing attention — bonuses paid by the agency that regulates Britain’s banks. From London, Stephen Beard has that.


Stephen Beard: These bonuses are not in the same league as the vast sums that bankers got. We’re talking here about a maximum of $150,000 for the most senior executive. But this is taxpayers’ money.

It’s for staff at the Financial Services Authority, or FSA. And they’ve been widely criticized for failing to spot and stop the banking excesses that caused the crisis.

Mathew Sinclair of the Taxpayers’ Alliance:

Mathew Sinclair: I don’t think the best way to encourage good staff to come to the FSA is to give them massive payouts when things go massively wrong.

He says the regulator is supposed to be cracking down on the “bonus culture” in financial services. The FSA says that now more than ever it needs to motivate staff to improve their performance.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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