SHAREHOLDERS should have the power to curb bosses’ pay and set caps on executive bonuses, the EU’s top regulatory official said yesterday, adding to pressure on banks and companies over excessive management pay deals.
The plan from Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner in charge of regulation, could pave the way for a pan-EU law next year that would give investors legal clout to take on Europe’s executive elite over pay.
“For all listed companies, I support transparency and increased shareholder responsibility … for example … mandatory shareholder vote on remuneration,” Barnier said.
International regulators have already acted to try to restrain bonus payouts at banks, many of which were bailed out by taxpayers after the financial crisis.
And shareholders in Britain and the US have recently got more rebellious and voted down large pay deals for bosses because of poor performance. Barnier, who has also campaigned for bonus curbs, said shareholders should be given the power to impose such limits.