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Regulators target "risky" bank bonuses

The Swiss financial regulator, Finma, is pushing forward with its intention to crack down on bonus systems that encourage excessive risk taking.

This content was published on June 3, 2009 - 17:43

The body has invited banks and other institutions to comment on its proposals to link variable remuneration to long-term performance and to make pay structures more transparent. The rules come into force next year.

Bonuses and large corporate pay packets have come under intense scrutiny and criticism in Switzerland since the financial meltdown, as in other countries.

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has already introduced deferred bonuses that could be clawed back if long-term targets are not met. It is also one of a handful of Swiss companies that now allows shareholders to have a consultative vote on pay.

However, the Swiss government is also debating whether to intervene in the bank's remuneration system after it was bailed out by the Swiss National Bank last year.

The public consultation period for Finma's new remuneration rules ends on August 14. They will come into force on January 1, 2010, giving financial institutions a further year to comply with the regulations. However, UBS must apply by the draft regulations this year.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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