By JUERGEN BAETZAssociated Press
BRUSSELS (AP) - Top European Union officials struck an agreement on a package of financial laws that includes a firm cap on bankers' bonus payments.
An official said late Wednesday that EU lawmakers, the Commission and representatives of the bloc's 27 governments agreed that bankers' bonus payments won't be allowed to exceed their fixed annual salary.
Daniel Koester, a spokesman for the European Parliament's center-right caucus, said they can only be raised to double the salary if a large majority of a bank's shareholders agree.
The bonus cap legislation was part of a wider package introducing higher capital requirements for banks, the so-called Basel III rules, which were also adopted and are set to take effect next year.
The final approval by parliament and government leaders of the package is expected to be a formality.
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