Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co - the world's fourth largest bank - receives an annual salary of $19.6 million, Reuters reports.
In contrast, the chairman of the world's biggest bank - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - Jiang Jianqing was paid $234,700 in 2008, having taken a ten per cent pay cut in the same year.
The figures were published in a recent study titled America's Bailout Barons and Sarah Anderson, co-author of the report, told the news source that executive remuneration in the US has "always dwarfed pay for companies elsewhere in the world".
US businesses "have claimed it is impossible to recruit people without paying such compensation", she remarked, but noted that the pay levels in Europe and many Asian countries show that it is possible to "find people who can run major global firms while making a fraction of what they make in the US".
The heads of three of China's biggest banks are all paid an average salary of $230,000, with salaries elsewhere in the world being higher than in China but substantially lower than those in the US.
Banco Santander paid its chief executive officer Alfredo Saenz $13.66 million last year, while Ralph Norris of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Gordon Nixon of Royal Bank of Canada received $8 million and $9.5 million respectively.
Wall Street compensation consultant Alan Johnson said that the pay discrepancies highlight the differences between cultures, adding that they "undercut the main argument by the US financial industry lobby that they will lose top talent to competitors in Europe or Asia".
JP Morgan recently predicted that the widespread changes being made to financial regulation following the global economic crisis will mean that a number of US and European investment banks will have to cut staff bonuses.
Written by Claire Archer