ABN Amro hikes pay to dodge EU’s cap on bankers’ bonuses

 
Tim Wallace
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THE TOP 100 bosses at Dutch bank ABN Amro would receive a 20 per cent pay hike to get around Europe’s bonus rules, the lender said yesterday.

New EU rules will cap bonuses at 100 per cent of salary, or 200 per cent if shareholders agree. And ABN Amro is preparing to but bonuses to as little as 20 per cent of pay, as it is owned by the government.

But the nationalised bank is instead increasing salaries to avoid the cap, which means bankers will not be hit by the limits, but the bank now has less flexibility to cut pay when market conditions are bad.

Banks in the UK, including Barclays and HSBC have taken similar steps, giving top staff extra fixed payouts in shares to continue paying competitively for talent.