Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 07:36 GMT

Business: The Company File

'Fatcat' pay may be curbed

Boardroom pay packages again in the spotlight

Speculation is mounting the UK Government is about to introduce measures to limit pay rises to company directors.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers is said to have decided to act on what unions have termed "fatcat" boardroom remuneration by forcing changes to allow shareholders to vote on directors' pay packages.

[ image: Stephen Byers: War on fatcats?]
Stephen Byers: War on fatcats?
Mr Byers has asked the London Stock Exchange to look at new listing rules for companies to strengthen shareholder rights, according to the Financial Times newspaper. This is the government's preferred method of change rather than amendments to companies law, it says.

The changes would also introduce annual shareholder votes on whether each director should remain in office.

City support

The government is said to have the support of some major fund managers in the City of London, who by virtue of their large holdings of stock, are among the biggest shareholders in UK companies.

The controversy over directors' and executives' remuneration bubbled over last year after the announcement of a string of seven-figure pay packages in recent years.

This prompted an outcry from union leaders and calls for official intervention to prevent boards from awarding themselves increases much higher than rises in average wages.

Last week, Barclays Bank drew criticism over the deal offered to its new chief executive Michael O'Neill who stands to make £2m in his first year.

However, the government has been keen to show it is pro-business and in a separate move, Mr Byers has announced it will not force employers to keep special records to show that they are observing the new minimum wage and has dropped plans for minimum wage details to accompany every pay slip.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

02 Nov 98 | The Economy
CBI chief hits back

28 Oct 98 | The Economy
On the trail of the fat cats

15 Oct 98 | The Economy
Fat cat pay rises attacked

02 Oct 98 | The Economy
Fat Cats get fatter on sour cream

Internet Links

Department of Trade and Industry

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles