Monday, 22 November 2010

Coalition succumbs to banker lobbying

There's a great bit on Mark Kleinman's blog here about George Osborne giving in to pressure from the banking lobbying and delaying implementation of the Walker Review recommendations in respect of remuneration disclosure. It's also on the front page of the Pink Un.

Here's Kleinman's take on it:
Two months ago, George Osborne’s spokesman could not have been more explicit.

“The chancellor is committed to implementing Walker,” he said in September. “He is not going soft in any way and that includes implementing the pay bands.”

That statement was in response to a newspaper report suggesting that Osborne was losing his nerve on forcing banks to disclose the pay of employees earning more than £1m.

Fast-forward ten weeks and “going soft” is exactly what the Chancellor has done.

He has confirmed this morning that implementing the report by Sir David Walker is best done only in co-operation with international colleagues and that without such co-operation, there is little chance of the Government forcing the disclosure rules upon Britain's banks.

For those not surprised to see the ConDems go weak at the knees (this excludes those people who said there would be no difference in corp gov with a change in government....!) I'd say also have a look at David Walker's bit in the FT comment section. He does rather make Osborne's argument for him, but the more interesting bit is the section where he basically argues that shareholder oversight is ineffective because of the lack of below-board disclosure. Would be interesting to see if any shareholders are pushing for below-board disclosure and, if so, what they think of the u-turn.

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