By Simon Miller

European parliamentarians (MEPs)are calling for limits on bankers' bonuses as the EU looks to broaden the scope of Basel III.

Speaking to the European Parliament's financial regulation comittee, Austrian centre-right MEP Othmar Karas - who is steering the parliament's response to the EU - fell short of calling for a salary cap.

However, he added: "My approach is that variable pay should not be more than double the fixed."

He continued: ""We should not do more than necessary and not become populist. A fixed upper limit on remuneration would prevent people from doing a good and responsible job."

However, sentiment was stronger from other MEPs with Belgian Green Party member Philippe Lamberts saying there was no evidence that salary structures seen at banks "correspond to any real value creation".

He added: "I am getting fed up of people saying this issue is populist and we should not go into that. Variable salary cannot be bigger than fixed salary. Don't tell me you need two-fold, three-fold, five-fold variable salary to do good work. This is false."

The proposal came the same day the governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King told a House of Lords hearing that some bankers were motivated purely by money.

He commented: "One of the most depressing things about some parts of the financial sector is that people seem to think their main objective of being in it is to earn enough money in order to leave it – as opposed to finding satisfaction and a life-long career within it."

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