LONDON, May 31 ― Britain’s top CEO salaries are back to pre-pandemic levels, with an average of £3.62 million (RM20 million) for the bosses of the biggest companies on the London Stock Exchange, according to a study.

That figure represents the median FTSE-100 CEO package for 2021, according to research provided by the accountancy firm Deloitte yesterday.

It is still below the 2017 peak of £4.04 million, said Deloitte.

In 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, median pay for FTSE-100 executives fell for the fourth year in a row to £2.78 million following reduced or cancelled bonuses, voluntary pay cuts, and in some cases protests from investors.

The FTSE-100 was up 14 per cent in 2021 and that the rebound in CEO pay is largely due to the return of bonuses, Deloitte noted.

“UK listed companies are subject to the highest remuneration governance standards globally, and the UK has not followed countries like the US in terms of executive pay inflation in recent years,” said Deloitte Vice Chairman Stephan Cahill.

The report also pointed out that the 2022 annual general meeting season had seen a higher level of votes in favour of proposed salaries compared to last year, reflecting less opposition from investors.

But Cahill added that with “the rising cost of living and the uncertain geopolitical environment”, such support might wane this year.

Shareholders, he said, might be scrutinising company performance more closely before approving generous pay packages. ― AFP