Ana Botin, the chief executive of Santander UK, was paid £4.1m last year, despite the bank's profits plunging by 40 per cent after it was hit by a £500m charge for mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI).
Ms Botin, the daughter of the Spanish parent bank Santander's boss Emilio Botin, was paid almost three times what her predecessor, Antonio Horta-Osorio, picked up in 2010 before he left to take over as chief executive Lloyds Banking Group.
Her basic pay was £1.7m, on top of which she received an immediate bonus of £926,000 and a deferred bonus of £1.4m.
Santander had been planning to float its UK business, which is made up of the former building societies Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley, on the London stock market with a value of some £3bn. However, that has been delayed in the wake of the PPI scandal.