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Banks remain in talks with government on pay

Source: Reuters - Wed 1st Dec 2010

"We have said repeatedly that the banks understand the public mood with respect to remuneration and the banks also understand their societal responsibilities" British Bankers Association Chief Executive Angela Knight said in a statement.

"It is not surprising therefore that we are talking with the government on these and a range of other issues" she added.

Earlier on Thursday, The Times reported that executives from Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Royal Bank of Scotland held discussions last week about a possible pact to cut bonus payouts for this year.

Those four banks declined to comment on the Times report.

Politicians around the world have heaped pressure on banks to ensure that state aid they received during the credit crisis is used principally to help them lend more to businesses, rather than to award themselves excessively large salaries.

Chancellor George Osborne said earlier this week he favoured an international approach to regulating disclosure of bank bonus payments, a move that could stoke tensions within the coalition government.

Britain also expects to raise about 2.5 billion pounds a year by 2012-13 from a permanent tax on British and overseas banks' balance sheets.

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