Non-executives’ pay increased by 6% last year

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Non-executive chairmen at Britain’s biggest companies pocketed average pay rises of 6 per cent last year, outstripping overall wage growth and taking their earnings to almost £400,000.

Pay analysis outfit Incomes Data Services (IDS) said its research among FTSE firms showed average fees ranged from £270,000 in technology businesses to more than £500,000 at oil and gas companies.

However, fewer firms increased non-executive directors’ pay in 2012 than in the previous year.

Average fees for non-executive directors – or Neds – increased by 4 per cent last year to £64,000, double the amount of 12 years ago.

Nasreen Rahman, assistant editor at IDS, said: “Investor scrutiny over boardroom pay and the link to shareholder returns continues to be a contentious issue, which could be why fewer FTSE-100 businesses raised their fees for Neds during 2012.

“Executive pay at Footsie businesses is coming under increased scrutiny. That is especially the case in financial services, where the connection between risk and reward is attracting attention not only from shareholders but also from regulators.

“Remuneration committee chairmen have a crucial role to play in improving corporate governance in the wake of the credit crunch.”

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “These figures highlight again why we need urgent reform of boardroom pay. Top directors are showing little restraint while millions of workers are suffering real-term losses to their incomes.”