Pay reforms will go ahead

CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday struck back at claims he is preparing to scrap plans to increase transparency over bank pay, insisting that the government remains “fully committed” to the proposals put forward last year by Sir David Walker.

Under Walker’s proposed reforms, UK banks will have to reveal intricate details of pay structures, including how many bankers fall into compensation brackets over £1m a year.

Reports over the weekend suggested Osborne was reconsidering adopting the plans in full due to a backlash from the UK’s major banks. But a close aide to the chancellor yesterday robustly rebutted the claims, adding: “Our position has not changed at all and we remain fully committed.”

The Treasury is currently in the process of hashing out the finer details of the transparency proposals with the Financial Services Authority.

Walker’s reforms have provoked a near-mutinous reaction from major banks, many of which are actively reviewing their domicile in light of the burden of UK regulation. Last week, HSBC’s global banking chief, Stuart Gulliver, warned a separate decision to force banks to split retail and investment banking arms would have “significant implications” for the location of its headquarters.