Banker defends bonuses against Dutch MPs

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The tone of the political debate on bankers’ bonuses is greatly damaging the financial sector, warns the chairman of the Dutch Banking Federation NVB Boele Staal.

He is fiercely critical of a recent call from MPs for bonuses given out since 2008 by banks bailed out during the crisis to be taxed 100 percent retrospectively. “That creates unrealistic expectations at home, and incredulity abroad,” he argues.

He believes Dutch banks have successfully taken “major steps” in areas including risk management, the building up of capital buffers and adjusting salary policy.

Jobs Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager agrees to an extent. He says the banks should take the criticism on board, but that politicians must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. “The sector does create an awful lot of jobs,” he reminds MPs.

On Tuesday, Mr De Jager announced he wanted to widen the scope of legislation curbing bonuses given by financial institutions receiving government support. Not only those receiving direct bailouts, but also those holding government-guaranteed loans, will not be allowed to award bonuses.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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