Commerzbank brings in bonus clawback option

City A.M. Reporter
GERMANY&rsquo;S Commerzbank will introduce a clawback option to its bonus system next year as the banking industry aims to stop the short-term risk-taking that helped bring about the financial crisis.<br /><br />The bank, 25 per cent owned by the German state after an &euro;18bn (&pound;16.1bn) bailout, is responding to public outrage over the eye-popping payouts made to bankers who mainly worked at the bank&rsquo;s loss-making investment bank.<br /><br />Although regulators and politicians broadly agree that risk-hungry behaviour by highly paid bankers was one of the main causes of the crisis, they have struggled to agree on how to regulate or cap bonuses. <br /><br />Unicredit, Morgan Stanley and UBS have responded to political pressure by overhauling their bonus systems to include clawback options. Deutsche Bank has said it will look at introducing such a measure.<br /><br />For Commerzbank, the new system announced yesterday is part of a wider push by chief executive Martin Blessing, who won&rsquo;t get a bonus this year, to clamp down on payouts that reward only short-term performance.<br /><br />Frankfurt-based Commerzbank will stagger bonus payouts and drop them altogether if the bank&rsquo;s performance has suffered, Commerzbank said in a statement.