Co-op bank urged to show restraint over executive pay
Save Our Bank and Unite call for fair pay at Co-op Bank
Save Our Bank has teamed up with Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, to call on the Bank not to make the same mistakes as the Group on bonuses.
Campaigners are calling on the bank to include questions on executive pay and bonuses in the upcoming Ethical Policy consultation.
They hope the bank will firmly distance itself from the recent scandal at the Group where its CEO, Euan Sutherland, resigned on Tuesday after less than a year in the job.
His resignation came after proposals regarding his pay package (including a £1.5 million retention bonus) were leaked to the press.
Rob Harrison, editor of Ethical Consumer magazine, which helped set up the Save Our Bank campaign said: “Ethics in the DNA should mean fair pay. We know from our supporters that any move by the bank to pay its executives City-style bonuses would lead to a haemorrhaging of trust and customers. Frankly the bank can’t afford that.”
Rob Macgregor of Unite, the main trade union representing Co-operative Bank staff, said: “Our members are being asked to make sacrifices and many face losing their jobs. The bank must show that any pain will be shared at all levels and that pay is fair. The executive pay row at the Co-operative Group has had a big impact on morale in the bank, even though they are separate now. We want the bank leadership to make it clear that it won’t make the same mistake.”
Shaun Fensom of Save Our bank said, "We were outraged by these bonus proposals, and many of our supporters have got in touch with us to express their anger on this issue. However, it is important to bear in mind that the current crisis is not about the bank."
Shaun added "We want to see the bank take a leadership position on fair executive pay, by avoiding excessive pay-outs and bonuses and making clear that it remains an ethical alternative. Our message remains, don’t switch yet."
Save Our Bank are now urging people to lobby the bank by tweeting "Dear @CoopBankPR - Don’t make the same mistakes as the Group: include pay & bonuses in the ethics consultation #SaveOurBank" and write to them via the SOB website.
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