The Prime Minister has insisted there should be "no reward for failure" at banks which have had to be bailed out by the taxpayer.
Gordon Brown was speaking after reports Royal Bank of Scotland is considering awarding large bonuses, despite expectations of huge annual losses.
However Mr Brown stopped short of saying the government would impose a salary cap on rescued banks.
On Wednesday President Obama capped executive pay at rescued US banks.
Earlier, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson sent a direct warning to RBS, saying the bank risks alienating ordinary people if it gave its executives "exorbitant" bonuses.
Responding to a report in The Times newspaper saying RBS was planning to pay millions in bonuses to its senior bankers and traders, Lord Mandelson said: "Please be mindful about how this looks and what public opinion will be."
The recently bailed-out bank said its pay policy had yet to be decided.
The banks have got to be sensitive to public opinion and I think they need to think about what is the best way forward
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