Darling issues bonus threat in FSA battle

CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling yesterday raised the pressure on Financial Services Authority (FSA) boss Hector Sants over bank bonuses, as he pledged to discuss the issue at next month&rsquo;s G20 meeting in London.<br /><br />Darling said banker pay must be controlled and that the FSA is the obvious body to implement such controls.<br /><br />The remarks bring the chancellor into direct conflict with Sants, who has repeatedly said it is not the job of the regulator to affect social change in the country by capping pay.<br /><br />Darling said the issue needs international attention and pledged to discuss it at the G20 meeting of global finance ministers, scheduled for 4 and 5 September.<br /><br />He said this should silence critics of his pay crackdown plans, who say such a move may encourage talented UK workers to flee to less strict environments abroad, such as the US.<br /><br />The heightened rhetoric came as the chancellor met senior executives of Tesco Personal Finance in Edinburgh.<br /><br />Darling praised the firm as it announced plans to expand its financial services arm with the creation of over 800 new jobs in Scotland.<br /><br />&ldquo;We need more competition in the banking sector. People need choice. And as a result of what&rsquo;s happened over the last year or so with the credit crunch, unfortunately a number of lenders have either withdrawn or greatly reduced what they are doing,&rdquo; Darling said.<br /><br />Tesco, which used to run the business with RBS, said the jobs will be created with the opening of a new customer service centre in Glasgow.