The High Pay Commission's latest report found that average bonuses for FTSE 350 company directors have increased by 187 per cent since 2000.
Directors' basic salaries have increased by almost two-thirds over the same period, even though firms' pre-tax profits have only gone up by a half.
And pay for bailed-out bankers shot up to just under £4 million last year, compared with £1.7m in 2000 - an increase of 130 per cent.
Professor of History John Foster says ‘‘It is the system of incentivised executive pay, resulting in short-term profit-taking and often disastrous policies of growth through acquisition, which has caused many of our current problems both in banking and industry’’
Professor of Industrial Relations Roger Seifert says ‘‘Senior managers decide their own pay, more or less, and over time this drifts far away from any business or market justification’’