Save Our Bank calls on Booker not to accept seven-figure bonus

The Save Our Bank campaign is calling on the Co-op Bank's Chief Executive not to accept the £1.7m bonus he has been promised if the bank's position improves. “The bank needs to take a lead and show that it is different from other banks,” said Shaun Fensom from the Save Our Bank campaign. “It can start by rejecting excessive pay deals.”

The Co-operative Bank today apologised to customers for its past failings as it announced losses of £1.3 billion. At the same time it announced a pay package for its Chief Executive, Niall Booker, of £1.2 million, alongside a potential bonus of £1.7 million to be paid provided the bank's financial position improves. The bank also announced it would withhold payments of £5 million to former executives.

The Save Our Bank campaign, which represents thousands of Co-op Bank customers who are sticking with the bank and lobbying it to keep strong ethics and return to majority mutual ownership, welcomes the apology from Mr Booker, as well as the refusal to pay large severance fees to former directors. However the bank should show that it is different by rejecting seven-figure bonus payments.

“We recognise that The Co-operative Bank faces enormous challenges and its Chief Executive faces a tough job in turning the business around. However seven-figure bonus payments like those announced today are simply not compatible with the bank’s efforts to rebuild a reputation as an ethical lender following co-operative values and principles. The bank needs to show that it is different by exercising pay restraint at the top and consulting with customers on the issue of exec pay and bonuses. We want to see the bank take a lead on this issue,” added Shaun Fensom.

The bank is also calling for a further injection of £400m to cover past losses. Save Our Bank is concerned that this could lead to a dilution of the co-operative shareholding in the bank and calls on the bank to offer a chance for ordinary customers to invest.

Save Our Bank, 11 April 2014