Loss-making bank head paid pounds 165,000

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The Independent Online
GRAEME GILCHRIST, the former chief executive of the loss-making bank, Union Discount, was paid pounds 165,000 compensation for loss of office, according to the annual report, writes Peter Rodgers.

Mr Gilchrist was the executive in charge when the bank expanded disastrously into equipment leasing and away from its core business as a specialist dealer in the City's sterling money markets.

Union lost pounds 16.3m before tax last year after a pounds 23.5m loss in 1991, and has shrunk and sold off its operations, including large parts of the leasing business.

Once the biggest discount house in the City's money markets, Union has now become a second-rank player. It cut staff in the discount house subsidiary from 107 to 47 in the 12 months to last December, and net assets of the group have shrunk from pounds 57m to pounds 35.7m.

However, the highest-paid director, Brian Winterflood, head of the share dealing subsidiary Winterflood Securities, saw his pay shoot up last year from pounds 238,000 to pounds 308,000.

This included a profit-related payment of pounds 132,000 compared with pounds 72,000 in 1991 which the report said was 'in respect of a highly profitable subsidiary'. As part of its disposal programme, Union has now agreed to sell the subsidiary to Close Brothers, the merchant bank.

Mr Gilchrist was replaced as chief executive by George Blunden, who ran Warburg's discount house subsidiary.