The Daily Telegraph

Kwarteng may scrap bankers’ bonus cap

- By Giulia Bottaro

KWASI KWARTENG is considerin­g lifting a cap on bankers’ bonuses in an attempt to make the City more competitiv­e globally.

The Chancellor is understood to believe the initiative would attract top talent to Britain amid a scramble to improve London’s position against other financial centres such as New York, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Paris.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson never proposed scrapping the cap, which limits bonuses to twice annual salary, to avoid a backlash.

According to the Financial Times, Mr Kwarteng, who has promised a “Big Bang 2.0” in the City driven by postbrexit rules, told banking executives last week: “We need to be decisive and do things differentl­y.” No final decisions have yet been made.

The idea was previously floated in June, when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it would lead to “pay rises for bankers, pay cuts for district nurses”.

The measure is part of EU legislatio­n introduced in 2014 in light of the 2008 financial crash but always met Britain’s opposition.

Senior Tories say the Chancellor is “unashamedl­y” looking for solutions to boost growth, according to the FT.

Mr Kwarteng would contrast potential criticism by placing the measure in the context of a wider £150bn state package to support families and businesses through the energy crunch.

The new government’s mini-budget is due next week, although it is understood City reforms may be postponed.

Richard Gnodde, of Goldman Sachs, told the FT lifting the cap would make “London a more attractive place for sure”. He said that currently, “if I move a senior person between New York and London I am driving up the fixed cost of our operations. If that rule doesn’t exist, I don’t have to think about that.”

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