Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Two things about bankers' pay, and one other thing

1. Andy Tyrie has put the cat amongst the pigeons with this letter to the FSA, surely? On the one hand it makes the Chancellor look a bit silly for caving in over disclosure. On the other it also makes shareholders look a bit weedy, because his letter says the committee is concerned to ensure that remuneration policies are in the interests of shareholders. I advise anyone following this to go back and look at what some asset managers said about the u-turn at the time (clue: it wasn't 'we want this info').

Remuneration is a matter for companies and their owners. Except when neither side shows any interest, then it's a matter for a parliamentary committee and a regulator.

2. I said, didn't I say, that we are stumbling merrily towards another fight over bankers' pay. Patrick Jenkins describes this much better than me, here. Anyone seriously think UK banks won't say 'US banks are shelling out, we need to follow suit'?

3. Haven't blogged about the OFT not referring the issue of investment banking fees to the Competitition Commission, because I haven't followed it that closely. But if the OFT has basically said they are a bit of a rip-off but companies and their owners should negotiate better then aren't there market solutions? What about collaborative action by shareholders, perhaps organised through some sort of collective representative body?

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