Big pay packets, ethics irk Aussies
AUSTRALIANS have a poor view of the ethical standards of large corporations and their top managements, particularly in the banking and finance sector, an annual survey by the Governance Institute of Australia has found.
Executive pay continues to be a top issue for most Australians, with respondents also flagging corruption, tax avoid- ance and misleading or deceptive advertising by companies as other major grouses.
More than three- quarters of respondents counted CEO pay of $ 3 million – about 50 times the average annual income in Australia – as unethical. Even a $ 660,000 CEO pay packet was considered unethical by more than half the 1000- plus survey participants.
Executive salaries and bonuses were considered the top issues of ethical importance for the banking and finance sector, rating even higher than topical matters such as the treatment of customers and insufficient regulation.
The survey found sectors such as healthcare, eduction and charities had the highest ethical scores.