Blue-chip bonuses average £500,000

Chief executives of FTSE 100 companies still enjoying windfalls and pay increases

The chief executives of Britain's biggest companies enjoyed average bonuses of more than £500,000 and pay increases of at least 7 per cent last year, despite the recession that has plunged businesses into gloom.

The typical boss of a FTSE 100 company pocketed a bonus of £502,000 for the financial year to April, a survey by Incomes Data Services reveals today. Though the figure was 29 per cent lower than the year before – the first time in a decade that chief executives' bonuses have fallen – IDS said the size of the pay-outs would still surprise many people.

It also pointed out that at many companies, chief executives were compensated for smaller bonus payments by much higher basic salaries, with the typical boss given a 7.4 per cent rise. As a result, the average FTSE 100 director's total remuneration package last year was just 1.5 per cent lower. Chief executives are still earning just as much as they did in 2006, when the economy was still strong.

The continued payment of large bonuses to business leaders is not only confined to the biggest companies. The average chief executive of a FTSE 350 company earned a bonus of £283,000 last year, IDS found. "What is surprising is that the credit crunch, which has led to some of the biggest rescue rights issues in living memory, has had so little impact on the rate at which chief executives' salaries are rising," said Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS's report on directors' pay. "Salaries for FTSE 100 chief executives are rising twice as fast as salaries for shop-floor workers."

The IDS survey threatens to revive the row over boardroom pay, which has seen a noticeable increase in shareholder revolts this year. A series of companies have seen investors register protest votes against remuneration packages for directors, even voting them down in some cases.

Royal Dutch Shell, for example, suffered the worst revolt over pay in British corporate history earlier this year, when almost 60 per cent of its shareholders voted against its remuneration report.

However, IDS said many directors evaded scrutiny by accepting much lower bonuses in return for big pay rises. "While bonuses are often linked to performance, remuneration committees have more flexibility over salaries," added Mr Tatton. "This has led to the slightly odd situation of salaries continuing to rise at several times the rate of inflation, even as bonuses collapse."

Not even bankers have missed out. Chief executives of FTSE 100 financial services companies enjoyed average pay increases of 5.7 per cent last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn