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StanChart's landmark bid to claw back bonuses faces legal quagmire - Reuters

StanChart's landmark bid to claw back bonuses faces legal quagmire - Reuters

By Lawrence White and Sinead Cruise - 24 February 2016

Standard Chartered's (STAN.L) landmark attempt to claw back bonuses paid to staff deemed responsible for its current woes could be fraught with practical and legal difficulties, lawyers and investors said.

Chief Executive Bill Winters said on Tuesday the bank could recover the bonuses of up to 150 senior staff, if they are found culpable of breaching internal rules during a freewheeling lending era under his predecessor Peter Sands, who left last June.

The attempted clawbacks could represent a test case as to the enforceability of tough new rules put in place by Britain last year, as a response to the financial crisis, allowing banks to seek recovery of bonuses from bankers deemed to have acted irresponsibly up to 10 years after they are paid out.

Lawyers said it would be the first time a bank has sought such clawbacks en masse since the new regulations were put in place. Attempts to recover bonuses have so far been rare, and have focused on individuals accused of clear misconduct.

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