Labour MPs push for fines on banker bonuses
Politicians are favoring a harder line, and being stricter on the rules of bonuses for banks. In a Parliament meeting about the cabinet plan to tackle banker bonuses, ruling party, the PvdA, will demand an increase in fines for banks and insurers who dismiss the bonus ban, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has stipulated that bonuses for bank executives may only go up to 20 percent of the annual salary. His party, the PvdA, says that the €1 million fine on top of that is small potatoes, something that the bankers "laugh at", says PvdA financial specialist Henk Nijboer.
Nijboer is demanding a maximum of €4 million, and wants to be able to increase fines with more violations of the accords, so that fines can run up to "above €10 million." Banks have found ways to skirt these rules by simply raising salaries, as ABN Amro this year raised salaries of all 100 executives with 20 percent. The PvdA wants to counter this. "The cabinet should, if necessary, nail that shut with legislation", Nijboer says. Bonuses should definitely not be afforded to those banks who are owned by the government for 50 percent or more. The Algemeen Dagblad writes that this hard line will probably receive support in the cabinet. Parties such as the Socialist Party, the Christian Democratic Appeal, Democrats 66 and the liberal green party GroenLinks, believe the current bonus rules are too soft. "There are far too many exceptions. Foreign banks with an office here, for example, don't have to hold themselves to these rules", says SP member Arnold Merkies. Jesse Klaver says that the top salary for a financial executive should be maximum 20 times the lowest salary at the institution. "Despite the fact that the financial sector was saved during the crisis with tax money, the salaries have kept rising to bizarre heights. Inequality is an increasingly big problem."