Britain’s biggest bosses see bonuses fall for third year

Tim Wallace
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BRITAIN’S top executives saw their bonuses fall and their overall pay rise by less than the rate of inflation last year, according to a PwC study out today.

Despite perceptions that bosses’ pay has kept on soaring throughout the financial crisis and subsequent slump, the figures show chief executives’ bonuses have in fact fallen in each of the past three years.

The average bonus fell one per cent to £1.14m across the 43 FTSE 100 chiefs studied.

At the same time average salaries increased by less than three per cent to £898,000, keeping them in line with their workforces.

One-quarter of bosses saw their pay frozen last year.

Total pay, including long-term incentives and pension payments, increased by 0.5 per cent to £4m.

Barclays’ Antony Jenkins turned down his bonus again this year, which could have been worth as much as £2.7m, while BAE Systems’ Ian King saw his pay frozen at £963,050. More dramatically Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands’ total pay dived 38 per cent on the year, to $6.8m (£4.07m).

But there were also some stand-out performances, including EasyJet’s Carolyn McCall – an AGM in February voted to increase her pay package by 74 per cent to £6.4m.

“It is now common practice that executive pay rises are in line with the rest of the workforce. The desire to demonstrate fairness within the workforce on pay decisions is now much higher up remuneration committees’ agendas,” said PwC’s Tom Gosling.

“It seems less and less likely that executive pay inflation will return to the levels seen before the financial crisis. There’s a good case to be made that executive pay will stagnate or even reduce in real terms over the next decade.”