The federal government regarded executive salaries and payouts as a serious issue, Mr Swan said on Monday.
His comments come less than a week after clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands announced plans to sack 1,850 workers, despite having granted some senior executives pay rises of up to 170 per cent in the last year.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) would publish a paper on executive payouts later this year, Mr Swan said.
“We’ve said we’re looking at all of the options,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
“But where there is a commercial contract involved, certainly the action the government can take is limited.
“In the case of APRA-regulated institutions, we’ve got APRA working on this at the moment.
“There is no overnight solution to this, but we think it’s a serious issue and we’re dealing with it.”