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French finance minister gets tough on bank executives

Latest update : 2009-03-22

France’s finance minister, Christine Lagarde, has urged the executives of bailed out French bank Société Générale to give up their stock options for 2009, calling for a general overhaul of what she described as a "flawed" payment system.

AFP - France’s minister of the economy, Christine Lagarde, has asked the executives of French bank Société Générale to give up their stock options for 2009. Due to its poor financial performance in recent trimesters, the bank has received a 1.7 billion dollar state-funded bailout.

 

On Friday the Société Générale announced that the four managers who had benefitted from stock options last year would not cash them in as long as the bank still relied on government bailout funds. Not good enough, says Lagarde.

 

“I strongly hope that Société Générale managers care enough about the general interests of the French public to make the right decisions. I for one have not been satisfied by their decisions so far”, declared Lagarde, adding that giving up stock options seemed to her like a “responsible gesture”.

 

On a larger scale, Lagarde raised questions in an interview for French radio Europe 1 on the “pertinence” of stock-options, which she called a “very flawed” payment system for bank manangers, suggesting it needed greater government oversight.

 

Date created : 2009-03-22

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