NatWest to pay £2.4 million to former CEO Alison Rose despite controversy

Alison Rose, the former CEO of atWest Group, is set to receive a pay package exceeding £2.4 million despite her resignation following a controversy involving the potential closure of Nigel Farage’s bank accounts. The bank, which is partially owned by the government, has stated that Rose will continue to be compensated during her 12-month notice period as per her contract terms.

The compensation includes a cash salary of nearly £1.2 million, pension contributions amounting to £115,566, and roughly £1.2 million in NatWest shares. Additionally, Rose will gain access to benefits worth approximately £26,250, which might cover a company car, chauffeur services, life assurance, and personal security. It’s worth noting that she could also receive performance-based bonuses on top of her fixed remuneration.

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In the previous year, NatWest faced criticism for awarding Rose a pay package of £5.2 million. However, the bank has indicated that her notice period and pay will remain under scrutiny, and the institution has the authority to reclaim a portion of her prior earnings if misconduct is identified.

The determination of Rose’s future compensation will likely be influenced by the outcomes of both internal and external investigations into the controversy surrounding Nigel Farage’s access to accounts at Coutts, a private bank owned by NatWest. These investigations are projected to conclude by the end of October.

The comprehensive review will encompass an inquiry into information shared by Rose with a BBC reporter, which played a role in her unexpected resignation. The CEO of Coutts, Peter Flavel, also resigned the following day.

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NatWest clarified that Alison Rose is currently receiving her base salary, pending the results of the independent investigation. The bank reiterated that no decisions regarding her remuneration will be made until the investigations are finalized.

Nigel Farage expressed his criticism of the bank’s payout decision through a video on Twitter, calling it perplexing that confidentiality breaches could lead to a £2.4 million payout.

In the interim, NatWest has disclosed the compensation arrangements for Paul Thwaite, who is temporarily assuming the role of CEO for at least a year. Thwaite’s potential pay package could exceed £4.86 million, which includes a salary of £1.05 million, £1.05 million worth of NatWest shares, performance-based bonuses of up to £1.05 million, and additional shares valued at up to £1.58 million as part of a separate incentive scheme. Alongside this, he is entitled to pension payments of £105,000 and personal benefits totaling £26,250, which may involve a personal driver.

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Furthermore, Thwaite could also be eligible for extra bonuses linked to his previous position as the head of the bank’s commercial banking division.

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