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Lloyds to seek bonus awards for top 400 staff: Sky News

A pedestrian is seen passing the head office of the Lloyds Banking Group in central London in this August 5, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/S
A pedestrian is seen passing the head office of the Lloyds Banking Group in central London in this August 5, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/S

(Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group will seek approval to boost the pay of up to 400 of its most senior staff, Sky News reported late Thursday.

The news service said that the taxpayer-backed lender will say ahead of its annual general meeting that it wants flexibility in paying employees up to 200 percent of their salaries in bonus awards. (http://link.reuters.com/jab38v)

From next year, bankers' bonuses in the 28-country EU can be no higher than fixed salary, or twice that amount if a bank's shareholders give their approval.

The Bank of England said in March that it is scrutinizing allowances awarded to top staff by banks in an effort to establish whether they are a covert way of avoiding a new European Union cap on bonuses.

Treasury sources told Sky News that a circular to shareholders disclosing Lloyds move to seek approval for higher payments is expected to be distributed in the coming days.

Sky news said Lloyds also plans to table a resolution that will ask investors to approve the ability to pay a scrip dividend for the first time since it was bailed out by taxpayers.

The bank will also put forward a resolution seeking approval to draw up a prospectus for a possible sale of shares to the general public, the news service said citing sources.

Lloyds declined to comment on the Sky report.

Bankers' pay has come under intense scrutiny after scandals ranging from the rigging of interest rates to breaches of anti-money laundering controls and the misselling of loan insurance and complex interest rate hedging products.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; editing by Andrew Hay)

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