Page last updated at 22:20 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Banks may have to reveal more high earners - Darling

Alistair Darling
Mr Darling wants to go further than the Walker proposals

Banks may be forced to publish more information about high-earning staff, Alistair Darling has told MPs.

A government commissioned review has already suggested they publish how many staff earn more than £1m a year.

But in a debate on the Financial Services Bill the chancellor said the government may want to go further.

"We want to consult on regulations for... perhaps starting with salary packages below the £1m floor he has suggested," Mr Darling said.

The Walker review into the corporate governance of banks published last week recommended they be forced to disclose how many employees earn more than £1m.

That proposal is included in the Financial Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, and Mr Darling told MPs: "I think we can go further than he suggested."

The government is to consult on new banking regulations and may look at salary packages below the £1m mark, he said.

The Walker review also suggested FTSE 100-listed banks reveal the number of staff whose salary is between £1m and £2.5m, £2.5m to £5m and in £5m bands thereafter.

The chancellor is also considering whether those bands should be narrower.

Opening the second reading debate on the bill Mr Darling said it would strengthen the City regulator, the Financial Services Authority and reform the financial services industry.

The Bill gives the FSA new powers to fine banks that continue to offer unjustifiable sums.

Banks would not have to name employees earning over £1m a year under the Walker proposals.

Sir David told the BBC last week that the argument to name individuals who were earning that sum "were not supported by a shred of evidence", and that there were well over a thousand on that salary level in the City.

Earlier this year, City minister Lord Myners had suggested banks should have to reveal the identities of their 20 best-paid staff outside the boardroom - where earnings are already fully disclosed.

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