Top bankers hold bonus summit

DEUTSCHE Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, has confirmed that investment banks met recently in a private meeting to thrash out ways of self-regulating bonuses, in an attempt to prevent regulators getting the upper hand.

Ackermann, who emerged from the World Economic Forum in Davos last week as an unofficial spokesman for the banks, said the meeting had mapped out the most likely outcomes for bonus regulation industry over the next three years.

Speaking to analysts in Frankfurt, Ackermann said he had outlined three options.

“[Either] we do nothing on compensation, we do something proactively to change it, or we do nothing but there will be a regulatory backlash,” he said. “The majority of our peers said scenario three is the most likely one.”

The Swiss executive, who is also chairman of the Institute of International Finance, said he suggested taking proactive steps to regulate bonuses. But he did not elaborate on who participated at the meeting or confirm whether bankers had agreed to take further steps.

At a Davos panel discussion last week, the Deutsche Bank chief admitted that “something has to happen quickly to restore confidence in the banking system”.