Bank regulators issue new disclosure rules on pay, bonuses

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International regulators issued new rules on Friday ordering banks to publish details on their pay policies, including the amount of bonuses paid annually, and explanations of how performance is measured.

The disclosure requirements issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision are to be implemented by banks from January 1, 2012.

"The committee believes that these additional Pillar 3 requirements on remuneration will support effective market discipline and will allow market participants to assess the quality of the compensation practices and the quality of support for a firm's strategy and risk posture," said the committee.

Under the new rules, banks would have to disclose the names of people overseeing remuneration policies. They would also have to declare the number of employees who are regarded as material risk takers as well as senior managers.

Disclosure documents must include an overview on the current and future risks which are taken into account when deciding wages, and a discussion on how performance is measured.

Total amounts of bonuses, sign-on awards and severance payments made in the year must be declared, as well as the number of employees who have received variable remuneration.

Bank pay policies came under the spotlight during the financial crisis after it emerged that some employees had been taking excessive risks in a bid to chase bigger bonuses, leading to disastrous consequences for the banks.

© 2011 AFP

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