Clydesdale chief’s pay soars after return to profit

CLYDESDALE Bank chief executive David Thorburn has seen his total pay package treble after swingeing job cuts helped the Glasgow-based lender to climb back into the black.

Clydesdale Bank boss David Thorburn. Picture: TSPL

Thorburn was awarded a total of £1.5 million in salary and bonuses for the year to 30 September, up from £510,000 the previous year, the bank’s annual report has showed.

The bumper package was revealed a month after the lender, owned by National Australia Bank (NAB), posted a full-year pre-tax profit of £127m, reversing the previous year’s loss of £183m, following an overhaul that saw 1,400 jobs axed.

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As well as shedding staff, the group has closed business banking centres in southern England to focus on its “key heartlands” of Scotland and Yorkshire.

In September, it had to apologise to thousands of customers after a blunder over changes to their mortgage payments. The error led to an £8.9m fine from the Financial Conduct Authority and Thorburn said at the time that it was the “worst issue I have faced”.

Clydesdale, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank brand and now employs 7,000 staff across the UK, also had to set aside an extra £130m for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling, taking its provision to £386m.

The added PPI hit contributed to the group posting a bottom-line loss of £27m for the year, but that marked a dramatic improvement on the previous year’s deficit of £470m.

Thorburn’s basic salary rose to £450,000, from £400,000 in 2012, and he picked up £101,000 in benefits and allowances. He was also awarded almost £1m in short- and long-term bonuses covering the past two financial years, but about two-thirds of these are yet to vest and could be lost if the bank misses its targets.

A spokesman for the lender said: “Bonuses for all employees are strictly tied to business performance.

“No annual bonuses were awarded in the previous financial year and the significant improvements achieved in the past year have been recognised by the NAB group board’s remuneration committee.”