European Union (EU) finance ministers agreed on Wednesday to push for a global deal to crack down on bankers' hefty bonuses.
"The bonus culture must come to an end. There was a strong common European position," Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency, told reporters after chairing an informal meeting with his EU counterparts on Wednesday.
Borg said EU countries would send this clear common message to the G20 finance ministers' meeting in London later this week, and try to push the issue at the upcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh of the United States three weeks later.
"We need to see progress on the issue on the other side of the Atlantic. We need a level playing field," he said.
Bankers' bonuses have come under strong criticism in the wake of the financial crisis since the current bonus culture was blamed for bank managers' reckless and excessive risk-taking, which fueled the financial crisis.
It stirred uproar when bank executives received huge amount of severance pay even if the financial institutions they managed had run into trouble.
"The bankers are acting like it is 1999 but it is actually 2009," Borg said. "The bonus culture must come to an end and it must come to an end in Pittsburgh."
Among EU member states, France and Germany have been pushing hard for a global deal to rein in bankers' bonuses at the Pittsburgh G20 summit.