The Business Secretary Vince Cable last night urged FTSE-100 boardrooms to crack down on bonuses to restore public trust.
As the season for shareholders' annual general meetings gets under way, he has written to every one of Britain's top 100 companies to warn them about the damage big pay deals can have on their image, amid continued outrage over remuneration.
The letter was sent out as Barclays prepares for its annual meeting tomorrow. Protests about the bank's £2.4bn bonus pot are expected to be registered by shareholders.
"Getting pay wrong damages popular trust in business and undermines the duty to promote the long-term success of the company," Mr Cable told FTSE-100 directors in charge of boardroom pay.
Mr Cable also told the BBC there was a chance for companies to "make peace with the public." He added: "It's particularly true of the banks where pay reached ridiculous and dangerous levels."