Lloyds Banking Group infuriated unions by revealing it had paid 25 staff more than £1m while continuing a redundancy programme that will lead to 45,000 job cuts and offering front-line staff below inflation pay rises.
The bailed-out bank also clawed back a further £1.5m of bonuses from former directors, including the former chief executive Eric Daniels, as a result of the £6.5bn of provisions for the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal.
The admission on pay by Lloyds, which is 39% owned by the taxpayer, means that UK-based banks handed 752 bankers more than £1m in 2012 – marked by scandals including PPI mis-selling and fines for rigging Libor and lax money-laundering controls.
The bailed-out bank had handed the chief executive, António Horta-Osório, some £3.5m in shares through a long-term incentive plan (Ltip) to pay out in 2016. But the bank put a value of £1.1m on the shares, due to performance conditions and the share price in the future.
Excluding the Ltip, Horta-Osório received £3.8m in 2012, up from £1.7m in 2011 when he waived his bonus. The £3.8m includes a £1.5m bonus announced this month, which has been linked to a sell-off of the shares.
He was among 10 top Lloyds bankers who were handed more than £18m of shares though the Ltip scheme, but the bank put an expected value on the shares in 2016 of £6m.
The small print in the annual report showed that the clawback had applied at the same rate as in 2011 for the PPI scandal when Daniels had 40% of his bonus clawed back and four of his boardroom colleagues lost 25% each.
While it is not spelled out in the annual report, this indicates that Daniels – who told the banking standards commission that he felt Lloyds had been on the "side of the angels" with regards to PPI – has now had 80% of his £1.5m 2010 bonus clawed back. Other former directors – Helen Weir, Truett Tate, Tim Tookey and Archie Kane – have had their 2010 bonuses halved to about £437,000; £500,000; £471,000; and £383,000 respectively.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook urged Lloyds to go back to the negotiating table after agreeing 1.75% pay rises for staff. "There are 4,000 staff at Lloyds who got no pay increase at all and large numbers have endured four pay freezes in a row. It is one rule for the millionaires and another for hard-up staff on the front line in branches and call centres," Hook said.
No millionaires were created at the nationalised Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) – the part of the Newcastle-based lender still in public hands after Virgin Money's acquisition of the "good" part of Northern Rock last year.
Executive bonuses were axed by 20% as a result of the £270m bill left for the taxpayer from a mistake in the wording of loan statements to 152,000 customers, in breach of the Consumer Credit Act. Although the problem took place before the current management was installed, Richard Banks, the chief executive, said that the bonuses would be cut to ensure staff outside the boardroom were not penalised for past errors.
Even so, Banks' total remuneration was £642,820 up from £596,697, although he is deferring some of his payments until retirement.
NRAM exists to run down the legacy lending books of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley and repaid £4bn to taxpayers, although it still owes the exchequer £43.2bn, to be repaid as its mortgages are paid off. The last mortgage is due to be repaid in 2049 although Banks expects the bulk of the loan to be repaid before then.
NRAM is poised to begin contacting 26,000 customers who have interest-only mortgages that mature within 10 years to discuss repayment options. It offered forbearance on loans to 4,000 customers last year, down from 7,350, although it had conversations with as many as 48,000 customers about short-term fixes to repayments.
Profits for the year fell to £690.5m from £1.3bn in 2011 when it had been able to buy back its own debts. Profits were also reduced by a £130m bill to cover compensation for PPI mis-selling.
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