April 22 British Business Secretary Vince Cable
on Tuesday warned banks and other major companies to rein in
excessive executive pay or face tighter rules, in a letter aimed
at Barclays and other FTSE 100 companies ahead of their
annual general meetings.
In a letter to companies listed on the blue-chip FTSE 100
index Cable reminded them how 'excessive and disproportionate
pay' damaged trust.
"There is now an opportunity for companies to make peace
with the public," he said.
Cable also wrote that pressure for further legislation to
limit executive pay would be inevitable unless businesses acted
His warning comes days ahead of Barclays' annual general
meeting on Thursday where Chief Executive Antony Jenkins is
expected to be criticised for last year increasing bonuses for
investment bankers despite a drop in profit.
"This is particularly true in the banking sector where pay
reached dangerous levels and with Barclays in particular coming
up on Thursday," Cable said adding "we will see how far they
have listened to pressure from the people who own the banks -
Last year Britain tightened rules on how companies decide
directors' pay, including requiring businesses to detail what
was paid to each director and giving shareholders a vote on
remuneration policy at least every three years.
In the "shareholder spring" of 2012, investors mounted
several high-profile challenges to executive pay packages,
frustrated at boardroom salaries rising when share prices were
declining. Some high-profile bosses, such as Andrew Moss at
insurer Aviva Plc and Sly Bailey of British newspaper
group Trinity Mirror, stood down.
(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore and William James in
London; Editing by Eric Walsh)