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EU eyes binding shareholder votes

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The idea of non-binding votes has been around for a while and to date, the end result has been a failure. When a vote is meaningless, a vote is meaningless. If anything the meaningless vote only frustrates shareholders. Binding votes needs a lot more serious attention in Europe as well as in the US. FT via CNBC on what is being called the "shareholder spring" by one commissioner:

Shareholders in Europe’s listed companies will be given a binding vote on pay while those who invest in banks will gain powers to set a cap on bonus levels, under plans being drawn up by senior EU officials.

The initiative from Michel Barnier, the EU’s top financial services regulator, would hand bank investors the voting power to curb “morally indefensible” pay and limit the gap between the lowest and highest paid. Banks would also be forced to disclose their top 20-30 earners.

The French commissioner outlined his plans in an interview with the Financial Times in which he laid out his response to pay rebellions that have rattled executives at Barclays, Citigroup and AstraZeneca.

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