Exit polls show strong Swiss approval for greater shareholder say over executive pay

Exit polls show Swiss voters have approved a measure to boost shareholders' say on executive pay.

The "Rip-off Initiative" is designed to prevent bosses from receiving huge bonuses even when their companies do badly.

The head of polling group gfs.bern, Claude Longchamp, told Swiss public television station SRF that 68 percent of voters backed the measure and 32 percent voted.

If Sunday's exit polls prove correct, parliament will have to draft a law giving shareholders the right to hold a binding vote on all compensation for company executives and directors. The law will also ban signing and leaving bonuses for senior managers and push greater corporate transparency.

Breaching the rules could lead to a fine of up to six annual salaries and up to three years in prison.