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Executive bonuses reach pre-crash levels

Despite the freeze in basic pay, bonuses have returned to pre-crisis levels.

Executive bonuses have returned to the level they were at before the financial crisis, revealed business consultancy Deloitte in its annual remuneration survey.

Average bonus sums awarded to directors of FTSE 100 firms amounted to as much as 100 per cent of their basic salary. In around 30 public companies, the bonus figures were found to be 140 per cent of salary.

The report said that increments in salaries of executives had stopped as over 50 per cent of the largest companies will freeze the pay of executive directors at the same level for the second year running. Any plausible pay rise will be around 3 per cent.

One out of seven mid-sized FTSE 250 firms paid no bonus to bosses in 2009.

"Companies are now recognising that increases for executives must be considered fair and reasonable in the context of current business circumstances and the pay and conditions for employees more generally," said Stephen Cahill, a partner in Deloitte's remuneration team.