BT boss Gavin Patterson stripped of annual bonus after accounting scandal

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BT boss Gavin Patterson has been stripped of his annual bonus following disclosures of an accounting scandal at the telecoms giant's Italian division.

The firm said that Mr Patterson will receive a total pay packet of £1.3 million for 2016/17, down from £5.3 million the previous year.

BT's share price and profits have been dented as a result of the scandal, first revealed in January, which also saw BT's European head Corrado Sciolla leave the group

The company's remuneration committee has also decided that outgoing finance chief Tony Chanmugam will not receive a bonus, with his total pay dropping to £258,000 from £2.8 million.

Remuneration committee chairman Tony Ball said: "The past year has been challenging.

"Although good progress has been made in a number of areas, unfortunately our performance has been significantly affected by the accounting irregularities in our Italian business, the issues that arose in Openreach around deemed consent and the significant challenges we faced in the UK public sector and international corporate markets.

"The committee has made a number of difficult decisions this year in light of these circumstances and exercised its discretion accordingly."

BT added that Mr Patterson and Mr Chanmugam "understood" the committee's decision not to award a bonus and had indicated they would not have accepted a bonus should one have been approved.

The firm said that Mr Patterson will no longer receive shares worth £338,398 as a result of the scandal, with Mr Chanmugam seeing £193,412 worth of shares clawed back.

The group is also to axe 4,000 jobs as part of a restructuring of its Global Services unit. The jobs will be "back office and managerial roles", BT said.

The company made the announcement alongside fourth quarter results, which saw pre-tax profit fall 19% to £440 million.

Revenue came in at £6.1 billion versus £5.5 billion in the same period last year.