Building society boss in pounds 621,000 a year pay deal

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The Independent Online
BRIAN DAVIS, the chief executive of Nationwide Building Society saw his salary and bonus package increase by nearly 25 per cent last year to pounds 621,000, confirming his position as the highest paid building society chief in Britain.

The average received by the 12,210 full- and part-time Nationwide employees rose by nearly seven per cent from pounds 15,044 to pounds 16,076 last year.

The Nationwide, whose members voted narrowly against a motion to convert to bank last year, saw its pre-tax profits rise by 9.5 per cent to pounds 407m in the financial year to 4 April. However, Nationwide was at pains to point out that the figure does not include pounds 300m in so-called mutuality benefits paid out to members in the form of lower mortgage and higher savings rates.

That is up from pounds 200m from the previous year. More recently there has been talk that Richard Branson might seek election to the board on a pro-conversion ticket, but which has so far come to nothing.

Nationwide yesterday defended Mr Davis' pay increase. "Of course he is well paid but he should be given that we are the largest building society by a considerable margin. However, what he gets is much less than he would as chief executive of a comparable publicly listed company."

Of Britain's top 50 listed companies 47 pay more than pounds 1m to their chief executive.

Charles Nunneley, the Nationwide chairman said yesterday that the last year's performance confirmed the society's belief that there is no business case for changing its mutual status.

"By combing mutuality with efficiency, we are creating a virtuous circle which enables us to grow and invest while offering still greater benefits to our members."

Of the pounds 621,000 Mr Davis received, pounds 360,000 was base salary. On top of that came pounds 101,000 in annual bonus and pounds 107,000 from the three year bonus plan Pensions and other benefits accounted for a further pounds 53,000. Last year's breakdown was pounds 300,000 in base salary, pounds 79,000 annual bonus and pounds 76,000 three year bonus.