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Study shows bonuses fell by 23% for company directors

Company directors have seen their bonuses fall by 23% to just under £50,000 over the past year, according to a study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR.

The number of directors being paid a bonus had also fallen, although the average is still worth around 14.5% of salary.

CMI Chief Ann Francke said that workers hope that this marks the start of a "new approach to bonuses." Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

The report suggested firms might be re-evaluating their approach to pay.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, said: "For most directors, this year has seen payouts reduced, putting the brakes on the gap between top bosses and managers at other levels of our businesses.

Read more: RBS reports losses of £8.2bn and £576m in bonuses

"Many employees will hope that this marks the start of a new approach to bonuses and a move to share the benefits of growth more widely as the economy picks up."

The report added that most companies are having problems recruiting staff, often complaining about the cost and procedures involved.

More: New rules prevent repeat of HSBC chief's mega bonus

Labour calls for Osborne to block RBS bumper bonuses

Labour are calling for George Osborne to prevent the Royal Back of Scotland giving bumper bonuses worth more than salary levels to senior staff members.

Chancellor George Osborne with Danny Alexander in December last year.

Royal Bank of Scotland, 81% owned by the taxpayer, is expected to invoke a clause in the new EU rules on bankers bonuses whereby any bonus worth twice the level of annual salary can only be awarded with shareholder approval, The Financial Times reports.

Read: EU Minister: Banking reforms will protect taxpayers

As Chancellor, Mr Osborne is effectively the heavily lossmaking bank's main shareholder.

Read: Osborne takes legal action over EU bonus cap

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EU officials agree to cap bonuses for bankers

Bankers could face a cap on their bonuses as early as next year after EU representatives reached the first agreement of its kind to curb pay in the financial sector.

The provisional agreement, announced after late-night talks between EU officials, would see bonuses capped at one full years' salary, but can rise to two years' pay with the permission of shareholders.

The cap is part of wider controls that will force banks to create larger cash buffers against future shocks.

But it represents a setback for the British government, which has long tried to protect its large financial sector from absolute limits on bonuses.

More than 10% of HSBC shareholders reject size of bonuses

The HSBC building in Canary Wharf, London Credit: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

More than 10% of shareholder votes went against HSBC's pay report at its annual meeting today. It comes after the banking giant's boss paid himself £7.5 million in pay and bonuses last year.

The intensity of criticism for the company's renumeration policies was down from 2010 when nearly 19% of shareholder voted against the pay report.

HSBC's chairman Douglas Flint appeared to defend the bank's high rewards, saying: "We continued to develop a truly meritocratic culture because as international competition for the best talent intensifies, we need to ensure that HSBC is making the most of the skills and abilities of our people."

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