NatWest is ready to cancel the bulk of Rose’s potential £10m payout

NatWest Group must scrap the majority of a possible payout of 10 million GBP to Dame Alison Rose, its former chief executive, as it tries to draw a line under the banks triggered by the closure of Nigel Farage’s Coutts accounts.

Sky News has learned that the board of NatWest, which is just under 40% owned by British taxpayers, has decided not to pay most of the discretionary elements of Dame Alison’s pay package.

A source close to the bank said the NatWest board’s decision was expected to be announced to the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

While the exact figures were unclear on Thursday night, NatWest was expected to take a tough line on its former boss, who resigned at the end of July after admitting she discussed the former UKIP leader’s banking arrangements with a BBC journalist.

The NatWest board’s decision means Dame Alison will lose millions of pounds in unearned share awards, although she is expected to receive a seven-figure sum in her basic salary and fixed share grants.

Dame Alison’s contract, which included a 12-month notice period, stipulated that she would receive an annual salary of £1.16m, with an additional amount of the same amount in deferred share awards.

Her legal fees are also expected to be paid by the bank.

Dame Alison had accrued unvested share awards worth around £5m, most of which had been awarded since she became chief executive in 2019.

This week was the Information Commissioner’s Office forced to give a profuse apology to Dame Alison after that claimed she had breached privacy – an apology which prompted a furious response from Mr Farage.

It emerged after a subject access request by Mr Farage that NatWest staff had disparaged the broadcaster and the former politician, making a stream of disparaging comments about his views and finances.

Read more:
Nigel Farage and NatWest: A timeline of what happened
Key points from Coutts’ dossier on Farage

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‘The report is a complete whitewash’

Last month the bank apologized to Mr Farage and admitted it had made “serious mistakes” in the way it had treated him.

The decision to “debank” Mr Farage sparked a firestorm in Westminster and forced the city’s watchdog into an urgent review of practices across Britain’s banking sector.

According to a public filing by NatWest in August, Dame Alison has received her £2.4m annual package of basic salary, pension contributions and a fixed salary share-based allowance since her departure at the end of July.

She was also entitled to be considered for a pro-rata share of the annual bonus of 2.9 million. GBP and long-term share awards that made up the rest of her total maximum pay package of £5.3m. GBP.

In addition, she held around 2.5 million unvested shares in NatWest, which at Thursday’s closing price of 200.8p were worth in the region of £5m.

That amounted to a notional total of more than £10m, although the fact Dame Alison left midway through 2023 means she would have been entitled to just over half of the £2.9m in any event pounds in annual variable pay.

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‘It’s about values’: PM on Farage row

The Treasury expected to be consulted on the terms of her exit package ahead of an announcement, although it was unclear on Thursday evening whether it had given its consent.

Dame Alison left the bank by mutual consent – where she had been widely credited with doing an effective rebuilding job 15 years after its £45.5bn collapse. inaccurately briefed a BBC journalist on the reasons for closing Mr Farage’s accounts.

The report, which the broadcaster was forced to change, suggested the former UKIP leader did not meet its commercial criteria.

It subsequently emerged that his political views had played a role in the decision.

Dame Alison has been replaced on an interim basis by Paul Thwaite, formerly head of its commercial business.

Dame Alison, the first woman to lead one of Britain’s big four London-listed banks, had initially tried to draw a line under the line with Mr Farage by apologizing to him and then by waiving her bonus for this year.

Within hours, however, signals from Downing Street that it had lost confidence in her leadership prompted the bank to call an emergency board meeting to rubber-stamp her departure.

NatWest, the Treasury and a spokesman for Dame Alison all declined to comment.

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