Santander boss gets £4m for 2011

Ana BotinThe boss of Santander's UK arm was awarded more than £4 million in pay and bonuses for 2011 - despite the bank reporting a slide in profits after it put aside more than half a billion pounds to cover the cost of mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI).

But chief executive Ana Botin, who received £4.1 million including £1.7 million salary, and her fellow executive directors were all denied any share awards under the bank's long-term incentive plan.
Santander UK's bottom-line profits fell 40% to £993 million after it put aside £538 million to deal with claims from mis-sold PPI, while underlying profits, excluding PPI, were still down 6% to £1.5 billion.

Ms Botin's pay was revealed shortly after what was dubbed the banking industry's "day of shame", in which Barclays reported that its chief executive Bob Diamond made £6.3 million in 2011, while Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester and Lloyds head Antonio Horta-Osorio were awarded long term shares worth £1.6 million and £3.3 million respectively.

Santander expanded significantly in the UK following the acquisition of Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and Abbey National and is in the process of buying 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Ms Botin, the highest paid director at the bank, was appointed chief executive on December 1 2010 and consequently did not work for Santander during the period affected by the PPI mis-selling claims.

But the bank, which writes about one in six UK mortgages, battled with higher costs of regulation, including the Government's bank levy, higher lending costs and limited demand for loans in 2011.

The remuneration report revealed the pay of its eight highest paid senior executive officers, outside the executive team. The highest paid individual received £1.5 million in pay and bonuses.

Last week's releases fuelled fresh anger that bankers are escaping the worst of the economic storm which is eroding the standard of living of ordinary families.

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