Bank Bonuses Under Fire
Swedish banks are under increasing pressure to freeze annual bonuses to executives in light of last year’s financial crisis during which the banks were given government backed loans.
The country’s main opposition party has called for tighter restrictions on bonuses and an outright ban in certain cases.
Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg has promised to tighten financial regulations unless the banks follow the example of Swedbank, which announced a freeze this week on most bonuses for 2009.
There was a mixed reaction from other banks, with one of the biggest, Nordea, announcing earlier this week that it will go ahead with more than US$300 million in bonus payments to executives. According to media reports, SEB bank is set to pay out bonuses worth more than the banks profits.