Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 nations met in London on Saturday, as a preparatory session for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh later this month, and to lay the groundwork for the Copenhagen climate talks in December. Proposals for a cap on the size of bonuses were rejected at the meeting.
Max Lawson, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said:
"It is disappointing that G20 Finance Ministers put the issue of bankers' bonuses ahead of the needs of millions of poor people suffering as a result of the economic crisis.
"If the G20 was serious about making banks work for ordinary people they would have agreed a global tax on currency transactions. Such a tax could raise up to $50bn for millions of people pushed into poverty because of bankers' greed. It is time bankers gave a bonus to the poor.
"It is good that the G20 has for the first time recognized the need to tackle tax havens in a multilateral manner. Warm words must be turned into concrete action at Pittsburgh."
Robert Bailey, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said: "This is another missed opportunity to agree a funding package to help poor people adapt to climate change and developing countries to cut CO2 emissions.
"While rich countries avoid their responsibilities, negotiations remain blocked, time to broker a deal is ticking away and more and more poor people are suffering floods, food shortages and extreme weather linked to climate change."