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China to curb bonuses

BEIJING, Mar 3 – China is expected to soon issue rules capping bonus payments to bankers, as regulators seek to curb excessive risk-taking and rein in rampant lending, state media said Wednesday.

Bonuses for senior executives should be no more than three times their base salary, under new rules likely to be issued this month, the China Daily reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the issue.

Banks will be required to retain at least 40 percent of bonus payments for senior managers for a period of three years to guard against future risks, the report said.

For top decision makers, 50 percent of bonuses will be locked up.

If a bank suffers significant losses, it will have the right to reclaim bonuses already paid to employees and suspend future payments, it said.

The regulation is designed to curb lending by reducing incentives for bankers, it said, and comes amid global outrage over bonus payments to banking industry executives following the financial crisis.

US data shows bonuses paid to Wall Street securities industry employees in New York rose 17 percent to 20.3 billion dollars in 2009.

Beijing has taken several steps in recent months to rein in lending, such as hiking bank reserve ratios, after an explosion of new loans raised fears of inflation, economic overheating and bad debts.

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