Home Money Do these big building society bosses really need such huge pay packets? asks JEFF PRESTRIDGE

Do these big building society bosses really need such huge pay packets? asks JEFF PRESTRIDGE

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Big money: Yorkshire's new chief executive Susan Allen

Big money: Yorkshire's new chief executive Susan Allen

Big money: Yorkshire’s new chief executive Susan Allen

It is at this time of year that most building societies start to publish their annual reports and accounts.

Although such financial books are hardly recommended for bedtime reading, they shed light on the health of an industry that offers many savers an alternative for their money from banks.

Although not all mortgage companies are the same, they tend to be more customer-focused than banks.

For example, they often have branches in towns that banks have long since deserted, while smaller ones tend to be community-oriented. They are also more receptive to maintaining savings accounts – popular with older people – and generally have branches dominated by friendly staff rather than banks of deposit-taking and cash-withdrawal ATMs.

Yet, looking through the accounts for the 2023 calendar year that have so far fallen into the public domain, there is a recurring theme that should shock many struggling households: that is the booming remuneration of the administration’s advice.

Despite the financial difficulties still facing many households across the country, the bosses of the 10 biggest housebuilding companies in Leeds, Coventry, Nottingham and the Principality all secured double-digit increases in their pay last year.

Coventry’s Steve Hughes saw his salary cross the £1 million mark to £1,086,000, an increase of 12.3 per cent on the previous year.

His pay was increased by a performance-related pay of £447,000. Richard Fearon, his counterpart at Leeds, received a pay rise of 14.6 per cent, taking his total remuneration to £862,000, while JulieAnn Haines and Susan Hayes at Principality and Nottingham saw increases of 18.2 and 18.2 per cent respectively. 25.8 percent (Hayes was only chief executive for nine months in 2022).

Conversely, Skipton and Newcastle bosses have seen their total remuneration fall. Nationwide (the biggest company by a mile in the country) has a year-end at the start of April, while Cumberland and West Brom’s accounts are at the end of that month. These accounts will therefore not be available for a certain period of time.

That leaves Yorkshire. Its new chief executive, Susan Allen OBE, joined the company in March 2023 from Barclays where she was responsible for customer transformation. His pay at Yorkshire last year was certainly transformational: a reported £4,046,000, including a bonus of £777,000 (for nine months of hard work) and a ‘replacement’ award of £2.5 million. £ (compensation for rewards and incentive opportunities she forfeited by walking). leave Barclays to join Yorkshire).

To put that into perspective, Nationwide boss Debbie Crosbie was paid £3,455,000 in the year to April 4, 2023, which included a replacement bonus of £1,705,000 for bonuses lost on leaving the TSB to join the mutual.

Yes, it is imperative that mortgage companies are run by some of the most talented people in the financial services industry. But there is a fine line between appropriate compensation and excessive compensation. I’ll let you decide which side of the line Allen et al stand on.

Email me with your thoughts at jeff.prestridge@mailonsuday.co.uk.

Why the wheels are coming off TfL’s cash cow

After a false start, common sense has finally won the day at Transport for London, the organization responsible for the financial scourge that is the Ultra Low Emission Zone – and its sibling scourge, the congestion charge.

In response to my article last week about Greater London resident Louise Matz who was fined £12.50 for a non-Ulez compliant car she no longer owned and was driving through London on rear of a haulier, TfL has now given him a refund.

In a note to Louise, TfL’s head of customer correspondence confirmed that towed vehicles are not required to pay Ulez’s fees – and that her initial payment request for a refund should not have been rejected . He added: “The letter you received stating that it had been correctly billed (sic) was sent in error. »

Cash cow: Louise Matz was fined £12.50 for a non-Ulez compliant car which she no longer owned and which was traveling through London in the back of a haulier.

Cash cow: Louise Matz was fined £12.50 for a non-Ulez compliant car which she no longer owned and which was traveling through London in the back of a haulier.

Cash cow: Louise Matz was fined £12.50 for a non-Ulez compliant car which she no longer owned and which was traveling through London in the back of a haulier.

Although Louise is delighted that a check is currently on its way (or rather) to her home in Pinner, it really shouldn’t require press intervention to get TfL to apply its billing rules fairly.

How many drivers like Louise have challenged incorrect charges, only to be rebuffed by revenue-driven TfL? Challenges must be treated with much more sensitivity and respect.

It simply wasn’t good enough for TfL to dismiss Louise’s initial complaint because she had failed to remove her old car’s details from its autopay service. It was a false lead. The blatant lie was that he had “reviewed the vehicle image” captured on camera and concluded that the charge had been “properly raised.” Scandalous.

One final point on this question. Haulage drivers are forced to mask the number plates of the cars they are moving so that they do not appear on road cameras (thanks to reader Peter Legind, from Saxmundham in Suffolk, for reporting this) .

Perhaps TfL should remind the companies behind these hauliers of their legal obligations – rather than imposing unfair penalties.

No wonder Ulez is seen as nothing more than a TfL cash cow.

Beware of the Japanese banking scam (via Ukraine)

Although most financial scams are now carried out by email or text message, some fraudsters still rely on Royal Mail to deliver their letters of deception to intended victims (plus deceive them).

Reader Catherine Pole, from Radlett in Hertfordshire, has just received such a letter.

It’s a variation of the infamous Nigerian hoax letters from the 1990s, but its version (allegedly) comes from Japan and has a sordid Ukrainian twist. Sent on behalf of Katsunori Tanizaki, director of the Japanese bank SBI Shinsei, it invites Catherine to ask for a share of the $89 million (£70 million) left by Martyn Pole at the bank.

Martyn, the letter said, was an oil tycoon based in Hong Kong and died with his entire immediate family at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tanizaki is adamant that the money should not go unanswered, so he wants to present Catherine as the next of kin.

In doing so, he claims that together they will be able to benefit from Mr Pole’s wealth – 45 per cent going to Catherine, 50 per cent to Tanizaki (so he can help Ukrainian refugees) and 5 per cent to deal with the possible expenses.

He ends his letter with: “I assure you that the operation is 100 percent legal and risk-free – if and only if you follow my instructions.”

He then invites Catherine to contact him via his private email – presumably so that he can then either ask her to provide him with her bank details so that he can defraud her; or persuade her to part with the money before the bonus of which she will never see a cent.

Of course, the letter is a scam from start to finish. Although there is a real Katsunori Tanizaki who works for SBI Shinsei Bank, this is not a letter he wrote – his name was simply cloned by the fraudster.

Catherine sent me the correspondence because she wanted to warn other readers who received a version of it not to respond to Mr. Tanizaki’s offer of “fool’s gold.”

For the record, I have asked SBI Shinsei Bank to comment on the letter. Friday, at the end of the match, he had not succeeded.

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