Nationwide boss volunteers to have pay slashed amid pandemic

The boss of Nationwide is to take a sizeable pay cut to show solidarity with staff and customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Garner, chief executive of the UK’s largest building society, has opted to slash his pay and pension by a fifth.

The chief has also sacrificed any bonus which may be due for him for the financial year 2019-2020.

Nationwide said the reduction in his base salary and pension equates to a cut of around £228,000 from his current pay packet.

Nationwde boss
Nationwde boss

It is understood the move will make Mr Garner the first boss of one of the UK’s biggest financial institutions to volunteer for a pay cut in response to the outbreak.

Last week, the Bank of England wrote to the executives of the UK’s largest banks, including Barclays, Natwest, Lloyds and HSBC, calling for them to axe dividends and rein in executive pay.

The major banks all agreed to scrap dividends, totalling around £8 billion, to provide an additional cushion as the UK economy prepares for a recession.

As a mutual building society, Nationwide does not pay dividends and is not listed on the stock market.

Nationwide also confirmed that it will make no compulsory redundancies during 2020, despite the impact of coronavirus.

In statement, the company said: “In light of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 for its members, the Nationwide Building Society board remuneration committee has agreed to a request by its chief executive to reduce his base salary and pension combined by 20%.

“He has also agreed with the remuneration committee that he will forfeit any variable pay award that may be due to him for the financial year 2019 / 2020.”