Top banks in talks about cutting bonus payments

British Bankers' Association considers collective reduction of bonus pay-outs.

The British Bankers' Association is in secret talks about collectively reducing the amount that the biggest banks will award in bonuses in the new year.

According to the BBC, one participant has suggested that total bonuses could be cut from £7bn to £4bn, although this figure would still attract criticism.

Huge bonus pay-outs have been the cause of considerable public anger as the banks appear to return to business as normal but the rest of the country faces harsh austerity measures.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said that banks could face more taxes if they continue to pay out "outrageously large" bonuses.

If there is any agreement from the talks, the fear will remain that top banking talent could emigrate. Wall Street is not keen on the idea of a mutual agreement on restricting bonuses.