Banks slammed over pay secrecy

A research firm has criticised some of the UK&#39s biggest banks for a lack of transparency in the way top executives&#39 total pay packages are disclosed.

Independent Remuneration Solutions looked into the 2003 annual reports of the 10 biggest companies in the UK including HBOS, HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB.

James Crosby of HBOS reported a rise in remuneration of 110% and Sir John Bond of HSBC a rise of 96%. But Barclays&#39 head Matt Barrett saw a drop of 32% while new Lloyds chief exec Eric Daniels was actually paid less than predecessor Peter Elwood.

The report authors say the information was hard to uncover.

HBOS has defended the way it discloses remuneration and says that long-term bonuses are down to whether the company outperforms its rivals.