FORMER?City minister Paul Myners yesterday urged bank shareholders to press management not to award “unreasonably high” bonuses in an effort to avoid a public backlash.
Myners said that shareholders still had time to take action. But that if they did not, he feared that the perceived shortcomings in corporate governance would lead to the placing by government of additional regulations and tax burdens on the industry.
The former Labour minister said, in a speech in Brazil, that it would be “nonsensical” for the government to take action that penalises the effectiveness of one of the global industries in which the UK?excels.
“The owners of banks – the pension trustees and insurers – have time to take action,” he said.
Myners said that the Labour opposition, which is backing a bank levy of its own, needed to think about banking in the knowledge that international banking is highly mobile and that most taxes on banks will be passed on to customers, primarily SMEs.