Does Investec have a particularly forward thinking bonus policy?

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With the thorny issue of how to pay bankers still very thorny, people devising new compensation programmes may want to cast an eye upon Investec.

A South Africa-based spokeswoman for the bank told one of our journalists that bonuses there have been risk adjusted for a long time, and each division has to earn a certain return on capital before its employees become eligible for one.

Investec's London representatives declined to comment.

However, one of its London-based bankers said the scheme operates in the City too. "The formula is quite complicated, but it's fundamentally based around economic value added," he says. "The division has to reach a certain level of value added before bonuses are paid."

Changes to the system are apparently being contemplated to bring it into line with FSA requirements, but compensation specialists say Investec already appears ahead of its time. "I'm surprised they managed to persuade anyone to work there," says one.