UPDATE 1-Clegg says UK to be tough on bank bonuses

Thu Jan 5, 2012 9:13am GMT

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LONDON Jan 5 (Reuters) - Britain plans tough action to rein in what it regards as excessive bank bonuses, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, ahead of the annual round of payments to star investment bankers.

"It is the Liberal Democrats who have led the debate on clamping down on bankers' bonuses. We must be just as tough this year in the bonus season that is coming up as we were last year, if not more so," Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.

Britain owns 83 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland and 40 percent of Lloyds Banking Group since bailing them out. The Lib Dems are the junior coalition partner.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in November it was not acceptable for RBS to earmark a reported 500 million pounds ($780 million) for 2010 bonuses. That total was little more than half of what the bank paid out for 2009.

Analysts expect bank bonuses to fall nearly 40 percent, reflecting falling revenues following the euro zone debt crisis. ($1 = 0.6406 pound) (Reporting by Avril Ormsby and Keith Weir; Editing by Dan Lalor)