JEFF PRESTRIDGE: There’s one rule for the banking elite and another for the rest of us… Many struggling to pay their bills will be furious the NatWest boss who resigned over the Nigel Farage banking scandal is set to receive £2.4 million
Many of those struggling to pay their bills will be furious at the news that Dame Alison Rose is set to receive £2.4million over the next year.
That is how much NatWest Group plans to pay its departed boss while she sees out her notice period – though it has yet to rule out trying to claw some of it back.
A mix of cash, pension payments and shares, it is a sum many people will not earn during their entire working life.
And what did Dame Alison do to deserve this bounty? Transform NatWest into a business dedicated to serving its customers? Far from it, although she was a force for good during much of her four-year tenure (in the process receiving remuneration in the order of £11million).
No, to the casual observer, it looks very much like the £2.4million is a reward for failure – after Dame Alison left her post in disgrace.
Many of those struggling to pay their bills will be furious at the news that Dame Alison Rose (pictured) is set to receive £2.4million over the next year. That is how much NatWest Group plans to pay its departed boss while she sees out her notice period
In violating client confidentiality, she broke banking’s most important rule. At an exclusive dinner, she misled a senior BBC journalist over the reasons behind the decision of Coutts, its private banking arm, to close Nigel Farage’s account.
She thereby exposed Mr Farage, a long-term customer, to widespread attacks from his gleeful political opponents. Then she denied having provided the BBC with his private information.
NatWest’s lavish generosity towards its former boss beggars belief. Why, after all, was Dame Alison allowed to resign when she should have been dismissed? Had a less senior employee breached customer-confidentiality rules, they would have been sacked.
The bank’s behaviour sends out a terrible signal to its customers, currently being battered by parsimonious savings rates, soaring mortgage costs, poor customer service and shuttered branches.
That message is that NatWest – and, for that matter, the rest of the industry – lives by its own rules. One rule for the banking elite, another for everyone else.
Taxpayers had to dig into their pockets to bail out some of the banks after the 2008 financial crisis – in the case of NatWest we are still part-owners (the Government retains an almost 39 per cent stake). But this now counts for nothing.
If ever a reminder were needed, this episode serves to tell us that those who run our banks are not really interested in helping us with our finances. They are more focused on self-aggrandisement – and have few qualms about rewarding their own failure.
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