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Cable threatens action on ‘excessive’ FTSE 100 pay

Laura Dew
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Laura Dew

Vince Cable has attacked the salaries paid to the executives at the top of FTSE 100 companies and warned the government may intervene if boards do not rein in ‘excessive’ payouts.

In a letter to the chairmen of the FTSE 100 companies’ remuneration committees, the Business Secretary stated the pay at FTSE 100 companies is  “excessive and disproportionate” and does not reflect performance.

Cable (pictured) said: “Unless business is seen to act responsibly, pressure for further action will inevitably result. I therefore trust that you will seize the opportunity to bring pay in line with performance.”

Cable has previously criticised large pay packets, but this letter indicates the government may take a more active approach to legislation if this trend continues.

The business secretary said he will be watching the ‘AGM season’ closely and expects firms to begin to take action on pay.

The timing of the letter coincides with the annual investor meeting of Barclays tomorrow where investors are expected to reject its director remuneration report.

Cable told the BBC that salaries in the banking sector have got especially out of control, singling out Barclays.

He said banking sector pay had reached “ridiculous and dangerous levels, and with Barclays in particular coming up on Thursday, we will see how far they have listened to people who own the banks – the shareholders – and exercise responsibility in long-term thinking.”