The outgoing chief executive of the Financial Services Authority Hector Sants has donated his bonus, worth almost £150,000 to the Duchess of Cambridge’s arts charity.
Yesterday the FSA published its annual report which showed that for the 15 months leading up to the end of March, Sants was awarded a performance-related bonus of £143,750 but that he requested it to be paid to the Art Room under the Workplace Giving UK scheme.
He is stepping down from the £500,000-a-year job at the end of June after five years in charge.
The Duchess of Cambridge became the royal patron of the Art Room earlier this year. In 2001 the charity had an income of just under £300,000 with £200,000 of that coming from voluntary donations.
Catherine Howarth, chief executive of FairPensions, which has been leading a campaign against excessive executive pay, welcomed his decision, and said: “It is a really positive action and it sets a really good example in the finance sector.”
But added: “It is worth saying that it is not a substitute for tackling the problem of executive pay at the source.”
Cable clampdown expected
In a separate move the business secretary Vince Cable will today tell Parliament how he plans to force companies to hold binding votes on executive pay every three years.
Responding to the proposals Christine Berry, policy officer at FairPensions, said: “Reports suggest that today’s announcement will be a negotiated compromise between the government and institutional shareholders who were reluctant to assume new powers. This calls into question whether shareholders are really willing to play the part that government expects when it comes to controlling spiralling executive pay.
“While relying on shareholders to hold companies to account, the government has never addressed the question of who will hold shareholders to account. This is the missing link in today’s package."