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BBA: Walker review must not hurt UK

THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the British Bankers Association (BBA) yesterday called on other nations to mirror the Walker reforms on disclosing &pound;1m-plus earners and strengthening boards.<br /><br />BBA chief executive Angela Knight said Walker was right to insist on more time commitment from non-executive directors and financial industry experience to sit on the board of banks but joined the Association of British Insurers in warning that the UK should not get too far ahead of the rest of the world.<br /><br />She said: &ldquo;The banks have heard the call to publish this information, but they also see the risk in doing so, given that too many countries show no sign of following suit.&rdquo; <br /><br />But in Westminster bankers faced renewed calls to be &ldquo;named and shamed&rdquo; as MPs and shareholder advocates accused Sir David Walker and the government of letting the industry &ldquo;off the hook&rdquo; in his review of corporate governance.<br /><br />Shadow chancellor George Osborne seized on Walker&rsquo;s decision not to name top earners, saying: &ldquo;When it comes to the government and the banks, the public are entitled to ask why the government talk tough, make promises and then fail to deliver&rdquo;.<br /><br />Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman said all bankers earning more than the Prime Minister&rsquo;s salary of &pound;197,000, should be named.<br /><br />Institutional investors&rsquo; group Pirc labelled the Walker Review a &ldquo;failure&rdquo;. Pirc managing director said: &ldquo;The public and many of our pension fund members and insurance services clients have a right to expect more.&rdquo;<br /><br />The details of the 184-page Walker review were greeted with a warmer response in the City than in Westminster.