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FSA to send bonus questionnaire to UK banks

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is in the process of finalising a questionnaire which will be sent to all UK banks asking for information regarding remuneration and bonuses. The questionnaire will contain 33 questions which will allow the FSA to get a handle on how members of staff can obtain bonuses, any guaranteed bonuses and ultimately how the system works regarding each banking institution.

This questionnaire comes just ahead of the January 2010 deadline after which UK banks will be asked to sign up to a "best practice" program covering remuneration and bonuses in the future. However, this particular best practice programme has already attracted significant controversy because ultimately it had been expected to be in place in October 2009 well ahead of the end of year remuneration and bonus payments traditionally handed out by the UK financial sector. So have the regulators done a deal with the UK banks?

Whether the regulators have agreed to push back the introduction of this new code of practice in exchange for greater assistance in the future remains to be seen, but this is a situation which is set to smoulder for some time to come. If you cap bonuses and remuneration in the financial sector, which sector comes next and where does it all end?

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