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Swiss vote for curbs on executive pay

Swiss vote for curbs on executive pay
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Swiss voters appear to have backed proposals to impose strict controls on executive pay in a referendum.

Projected results say 68 per cent favour the plan to give shareholders a veto on compensation as well as banning big so-called ‘fat cat’ payouts for new and departing managers.

The new measures will give Switzerland some of the world’s strictest corporate rules – something which opponents argue will damage the country’s competitiveness.

“I think we should go further, I would rather have the Socialist initiative, which suggested paying the difference between the lowest salary and highest salary,” said one voter.

While another said: “I think it’s blackmail to say ‘Oh but if managers are better paid elsewhere they will leave.’ I just think we need international agreements to prevent that.”

Support for the vote was fired by anger over multi-billion euro losses by a Swiss bank and thousands of redundancies at pharmaceutical company Novartis, while high salaries and bonuses for managers continued unchanged.