Bankers in Europe could be facing a cap on their bonuses as early as next year. EU officials announced an agreement today that would restrict pay at all banks based in Europe -- and any units of European banks based abroad.
If passed, bankers' bonuses may not exceed the amount of their basic salary, but the amount can range higher with shareholder approval. Predictably, reaction from the banking community has been unfavorable.
"It is going to exert at the very least some kind of constraint on what bankers can get paid and they would really rather not have any such restrictions," says the BBC's Economics correspondent Andrew Walker.
There is a fear that if the bonus cap is made into law, banks may decide to move operations to the United States or other business centers in Asia that do not have such tight restrictions.