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Lloyds to seek bonus awards for top 400 staff: Sky News

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[April 04, 2014]  (Reuters)  Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L> will seek approval to boost the pay of up to 400 of its most senior staff, Sky News reported late Thursday.

The news service said that the taxpayer-backed lender will say ahead of its annual general meeting that it wants flexibility in paying employees up to 200 percent of their salaries in bonus awards. (http://link.reuters.com/jab38v)

From next year, bankers' bonuses in the 28-country EU can be no higher than fixed salary, or twice that amount if a bank's shareholders give their approval.

The Bank of England said in March that it is scrutinizing allowances awarded to top staff by banks in an effort to establish whether they are a covert way of avoiding a new European Union cap on bonuses.

Treasury sources told Sky News that a circular to shareholders disclosing Lloyds move to seek approval for higher payments is expected to be distributed in the coming days.

Sky news said Lloyds also plans to table a resolution that will ask investors to approve the ability to pay a scrip dividend for the first time since it was bailed out by taxpayers.

The bank will also put forward a resolution seeking approval to draw up a prospectus for a possible sale of shares to the general public, the news service said citing sources.

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Lloyds declined to comment on the Sky report.

Bankers' pay has come under intense scrutiny after scandals ranging from the rigging of interest rates to breaches of anti-money laundering controls and the mis-selling of loan insurance and complex interest rate hedging products.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; editing by Andrew Hay)

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