Britain’s top bank bosses rushed to pledge big chunks of their pay to coronavirus charities, stung by criticism that they hadn’t made the same sacrifices as investors or front-line staff.
In a flurry of announcements Wednesday afternoon, chief executive officers of four of the nation’s five big banks announced they were giving up either a portion of their salary, some of their bonus, or both. Barclays Plc had made its announcement a day earlier, saying
On March 31, the Bank of England had written to all of the big banks, demanding they
“Any communications head or remuneration committee chair that is not advising their CEO to consider their pay is derelict in their duty,” said
Banks have been a focus of government efforts to sustain the economy, and pressured to keep lending while receiving massive government support, including relief on some capital buffers.
StanChart’s Winters and his finance chief,
Who’s Giving Up What at Britain’s Banks
- StanChart’s Winters is also making a donation of 825,000 pounds ($1.02 million), or half his fixed pay, to the bank’s $50 million global pandemic relief fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. The lender’s chairman, along with other board members and managers, are making donations to the fund.
- Lloyds CEO Horta-Osorio and CFO William Chalmers will forgo their bonuses for 2020. Horta-Osorio’s variable pay in 2019 was 1.8 million pounds ($2.2 million); his total compensation fell 28% to 4.7 million pounds last year.
- RBS’s Rose, whose employer is still majority owned by the British taxpayer more than a decade after the financial crisis, volunteered to give up her bonus. She and Chairman
Howard Davieswill also forgo 25% of their fixed pay this year. Rose’s fixed pay was set to be 2.2 million pounds, while Davies was due to earn 750,000 pounds. The salaries they are giving up will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal. Barclayssaid Tuesday that Staley, Chairman Nigel Higgins, and finance director Tushar Morzariawould give a third of their fixed pay for the next six months to charities aiding those affected by the crisis.
- At HSBC, Quinn and CFO
Ewen Stevensonwon’t take cash bonuses this year. Chairman Mark Tuckerwill donate all of the 1.5 million pounds he was due to receive to charity. All three will donate to charities supporting health care workers and vulnerable people in the U.K. and Hong Kong. Reuters reported the news earlier. Nationwide Building Societyboss Joe Garnersaid last weekend that he would give up a fifth of his salary and waive his bonus for running the U.K.’s largest mutual lender.
- TSB managers gave up their bonuses for 2020 following the lead of executives at their Spanish parent Banco Sabadell SA.
Elsewhere in Europe, executives at Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA were early to waive their bonuses, doing so on March 30. Italy’s UniCredit SpA soon followed suit.
“One of the longer-run consequences of the Covid episode may be a further reassessment of executive pay. And more broadly, how society’s cake gets sliced,” said
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