Nestl considers a Swiss exit if executive salary is capped

NESTL&Eacute;, the world&rsquo;s biggest food company, has warned that it could pull out of its home base in Switzerland if the government&rsquo;s proposal to cap top salaries is approved.<br /><br />Group chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe&nbsp; yesterday said:&nbsp; &ldquo;It would be the beginning of an end,&rdquo; and said that if the move succeeded: &ldquo;We must ask ourselves whether Switzerland is still the right location for us.&rdquo; Brabeck-Letmathe received a 13.9m Sw Fr (&pound;8.06m) total salary, including bonuses, for 2008. <br /><br />The global economic crisis and mounting public uproar against excessive pay for executives has meant the Swiss Federal Council, has been studying measures to cap &ldquo;abusive&rdquo; pay. <br /><br />But Brabeck-Letmathe said that to cave to &ldquo;populist pressure&rdquo; would be &ldquo;damaging for the location&rdquo;. &ldquo;Switzerland was once known for not ceding to such demands.&rdquo; A recent landmark settlement with USauthorities saw Swiss bank UBS agree to name the identities of 4,450 US clients. Many feel it means the end of Swiss banking secrecy.<br /><br />A Nestl&eacute; spokesman told City A.M. that the group would be considering all options.