Chief’s pay drops despite profits rise

THE highest-paid director at Tesco Personal Finance, presumed to be chief executive Benny Higgins, received a pay package of £1.08 million last year, down by £250,000 on the previous year.

Total boardroom pay at the Edinburgh-based operation was £3.39m in the year to 29 February, up slightly on the previous 12 months.

During the year the operation saw pre-tax profits rise 28.3 per cent to £159.6m. Tesco has invested more than £400m in developing the bank in recent years, which has seen jobs rise from 200 to 3,000 across four sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. Some 2,250 of the bank’s employees are in Scotland.

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In February, Higgins said the firm would bring out its long-awaited mortgage product in a “couple of months”, to be primarily be funded by deposits. Last year, the bank raised £1.5 billion in 14 months with the launch of a fixed-rate savings product.