Building society bosses win big, leave customers out in cold

While building society customers have been left out in the cold with a one-two punch of interest rates, with rates on mortgages going up and those on savings accounts dropping to the ground, mutual bosses have been rewarding themselves with large bonuses for “good performance” in 2011.

One of the most well-compensated for 2011 performance levels was Iain Cornish, former chief executive of Yorkshire BS, who resigned just before 2012.  Mr Cornish’s 2011 bonus was £742,000 – a 32 per cent increase over the previous year – and his resignation entitles him to a £3.7 million pension pot that equates to an annual pension of £196,000.

The man who stepped into the vacated office on 31 December 2011, Chris Pilling, found a fat cheque waiting for him on his new desk.  Mr Pilling was compensated for his “lost earnings” to the tune of £156,000 after leaving HSBC to take the position as Yorkshire chief.

Even those chief executives who saw their pay fall in 2011 are still receiving massive salaries.  Principality’s Peter Griffiths pulled down £526,000 last year, even after a 10 per cent pay cut, with £166,000 being comprised of bonus payments, and others have received large bonuses as well, such as Coventry’s David Stewart (£88,000) and Skipton’s David Cutter (£53,000).

However, some bosses seem to be displaying a modicum of conscience.  Mr Stewart voluntarily relinquished his right to £38,000 of what he would have been paid for 2011, leaving his salary unchanged from the previous year, donating the funds to disadvantaged students looking to attend Warwick University, but the beneficence pales in comparison to the avarice of Nationwide’s Graham Beale, who earned £1.7 million in 2010 alone.

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