The "Shareholder Spring" continues to weigh on U.K. companies, with CEO bonuses falling for a third consecutive year in 2013, according to a PwC report published on Tuesday, as investors keep a watchful eye on corporate excess.
PwC's analysis of FTSE 100 companies found that the average CEO bonus came in at £1.14 million ($1.90 million) last year, down 1 percent on 2012.
On top of this, nearly a quarter of executives didn't get any increase in their basic salaries, with median salary standing at £898,000. Where raises were given they were in general less than 3 percent – largely in line with inflation and the pay increases for the general workforce.
"Even when long-term incentives are included, total pay has only risen by 0.5 percent year-on-year, despite the recovering stock market, which tends to increase the value of share awards," said Tom Gosling, head of the consultancy's reward practice, in the report.
The decline in bonuses and pay stagnation came despite the economic recovery seen in 2013 – the U.K. economy grew by around 1.7 percent during the year – and the 10 percent gain to the FTSE 100 index.
PwC attributed the remuneration restraint to the 2012 wave of shareholder rebellions, whereby investors refused to back multimillion bonuses for executives when coupled with anemic corporate performance.
"The extent of executive director salary freezes since the financial crisis is one of the untold stories of executive pay restraint… The desire to demonstrate fairness within the workforce on pay decisions is now much higher up remuneration committees' agendas," said Gosling.