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Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Monday, 30 January 2012

Hague: Govt 'should not intervene' on bank payouts

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has refused to rule out further government restrictions on executive pay, but he told the programme that ministers should "not intervene on individual decisions".

He defended the coalition over its refusal to block a bonus to RBS chief executive Stephen Hester, saying it had introduced new rules on limiting cash bonuses to £2000 and had given the FSA powers to refuse bonus payments in banks that didn't meet capital requirements.

Mr Hague stressed that Mr Hester's contract, including the long-term incentive element, was signed under the Labour government.

"As the chancellor has said, it is a sensible and welcome decision," he told Today presenter Evan Davis, adding that "Stephen Hester has got to focus on the very important job that he has got to do."

Mr Hague said the coalition had already made "big changes" to curb the City bonus culture.

But he added: "I don't think we should rule out doing more as and when necessary."

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