Nearly a third of Britain's biggest companies have frozen the salaries of their executive directors this year, while the average rise came in at 2.5 per cent after shareholder protests about pay, according to a survey.
Some 32 per cent of executive FTSE 100 company directors have seen their pay frozen, up from 27 per cent last year, representing a real-term decrease once inflation has been factored in, says the survey by FIT Remuneration Consultants.
However, 12 per cent of top-level executives bucked the trend, recording 12 per cent rises.
The median salary for a company's top-paid executive – typically the chief executive – is now £870,000, with finance directors averaging £515,000 and the other executive directors on £501,000.
Bonus levels came down by more than 15 per cent to stand at 69 per cent of the maximum possible, rather than 77 per cent. This equated to a median bonus of £865,000 for the chief executives, down from £1.04m last year, and of £464,000 for finance directors – down from £577,000.