Top dog pay not trickling down

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Top staff at US banks have been rapped over the size of their pay and benefits packages. New disclosure rules may see some of those perks curtailed in future.

Following payments of $23m (€19.2m) to Citigroup chief executive Charles Prince and $21m to its chairman Sandy Weill last year, shareholders are said to have complained about disproportionate compensation for senior executives at the bank.

The alleged complaints coincide with a survey on website suggesting rank and file Citigroup bankers received measly bonuses in 2005. In January, flagged reports that Citigroup's credit derivatives bankers saw bonuses fall 50% this year on 2005.

Citigroup's underpaid minions may therefore be pleased to learn of new US disclosure rules requiring top executives to reveal perks valued at over $10,000 rather than the current $50,000. Although they won't do much to rein in monetary rewards, US publication Wall Street Letter says the new rules, which are set to come into effect next year, could encourage banks to cut back on non-monetary benefits.

Citigroup's Weill initially negotiated use of a corporate jet for life, worth an estimated $500,000 a year, following his expected retirement this April. More recently, Weill said he'd drop this particular perk after a decade.