Darling asks bankers to return to earth

July 3, 2009 at 12:24 PM
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LONDON, July 3 (UPI) -- Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said some bankers have been "too complacent" about changing pay structures that encourage risk.

In an interview, Darling said: "There are people who are too complacent in my view. They need to be brought back to earth."

Darling said a proposal to reform banking regulations scheduled for release next week would give increased authority to the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority, which have been engaged in a territorial turf war as discussions of reform heat up, The Independent reported Friday.

The White Paper of regulatory reform will include a proposal to give the FSA regulatory power over hedge funds. The BOE's demand for "richer and more frequent" public disclosures among financial firms will also be included, Darling said.

Darling said the White Paper steered clear of mandated pay restrictions. "You can't have a pay policy in legislation," he said.

But "every single director of a bank should ask themselves over and over again whether they understand what they are doing that would be disastrous for them and the rest of the world," he said.

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