FSA’s new bonus rules have 'legal implications', newspaper report claims

3 August 2010

The Financial Service Authority’s (FSA) decision to extend its bonus rules could lead to a number of legal concerns coming to the fore, a newspaper report has claimed.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a provision allowing the FSA to void an employee's contract if their employer breaches the bonus rules could be problematic, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The auditing firm stated that there would be problems applying the new rule to employees who work overseas, especially as they could be asked to repay what they have received.

Tom Gosling, partner at PwC, who was quoted by the newspaper, said: "The most obvious difficulty with the voiding provision is when companies employ someone in an overseas territory, such as an Asian subsidiary.

“If the [UK-regulated] bank pays them a guaranteed bonus of more than one year ['s salary] contrary to the code, and the FSA says it will void the contract, it will have limited enforceability."

The FSA recently launched a consultation on extending the current Remuneration Code, which was introduced to curb the excessive bonus culture within the financial industry prior to the global credit crisis.

Changes in the consultation included applying the rules to over 2,500 firms such as asset managers, hedge funds and businesses dealing with corporate finance.

By Jim Ottewill

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