Fat cats … lots of them … getting fatter

Several of Britain’s best-known companies, including Burberry, Sky and Sports Direct, are included on a list ordered by the prime minister of firms rewarding bosses with “fat cat pay” and representing the “unacceptable face of capitalism”.

More than a fifth of Britain’s FTSE listed-firms are included on the “name and shame” register of companies that Theresa May said risk damaging “the social fabric of our country” by paying bosses too much money.

May ordered the creation of the world’s first public register of companies that ignored shareholder concerns and awarded “pay rises to bosses that far outstrip the company’s performance” in August. She said calling out the firms would help tackle the “abuses and excess in the boardroom” and restore public confidence in big business.

The public register was published on Tuesday by the Investment Association, a trade body of investment firms that manage the pensions of million of Britons.

The register lists every company in the FTSE All-Share Index which has suffered at least a 20% shareholder rebellion against proposals for executives pay, re-election of directors or other resolution at their shareholder meetings.

Companies on the register include fashion label Burberry, broadcaster Sky, retailer Sports Direct and Sir Martin Sorrell’s advertising company WPP.

Others on the list include banking giant HSBC, supermarket Morrisons, BT, estate agent Foxtons, the AA and Mothercare.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, said the register “reveals the true scale of investor concern” and shows how many shareholders are “flexing their muscles by exercising their votes”.

Cummings said the fact that 22% of companies in the FTSE All-Share are included on the list shows that “a significant number of companies need to seriously start listening to shareholders views and acting on them”. …”


One thought on “Fat cats … lots of them … getting fatter

  1. What strikes me most of all is that Theresa May is too stupid or delusional to see that the fat-cat payouts are a consequence of her Party’s policies and not simply a random event that needs to be addressed. If the government is genuinely serious about reining in “the unacceptable face of capitalism”, then they need to do several things:

    1. Stop having and implementing free-market policies which encourage fat-cat capitalism.

    2. Stop having and implementing policies which restrict competition by favouring big-businesses and putting hurdles in the way of small businesses competing with them.

    3. In particular, start making big-businesses pay their fair share of taxes, because any big-business which doesn’t pay the same tax rate has an immediate competitive advantage, and will be making the excessive profits that trigger fat-cat payments.

    4. Start implementing regulations and legislation which encourage and enable small businesses and start-ups to compete with big-businesses. So make regulations fit the size of business, and stop applying regulations designed to prevent abuses by dominant big-businesses to small businesses where they are unnecessary and a major overhead / barrier.

    5. Stop implementing policies which actually add to the fat-cat problem by subsidising big business and perpetuating and increasing the fat-cat problem rather than rein it in. For example, subsidies for first time property buyers does not actually assist first time buyers onto the property ladder, but instead just creates house price inflation – and these are also targeted at any first time buyers rather than only those who would otherwise not be able to afford to buy a home thus subsidising those who don’t need it.

    6. Start implementing policies which stop big-business cornering the market. So for example, the biggest developers have cornered the market in development land, creating land banks which restrict the ability of smaller developers to compete. The government needs to regulate / legislate to stop big businesses from doing this.

    And whilst we are at it, the other “unacceptable faces of capitalism” which the Tories refuse to recognise are:

    A. the privatisation of public services which result in “cherry picking” of profitable services, loss of unprofitable services, mostly detrimental to the least well-off and most vulnerable in our society.

    B. policies which favour businesses (usually big businesses – usually the big businesses run by Tory Party donors – who are a tiny minority of voters) to the detriment of consumers (who are the vast majority of the electorate that they are supposed to be representing and protecting).

    Enough said.

    Conservatives – the “Nasty Party”, “For the Few (fat-cats), not the Many (ordinary people)”.


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