Bradford & Bingley boss praises staff commitment

Bradford & Bingley’s chairman last week gave a glowing review of the crisis-hit bank’s people culture.

Richard Pym told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that staff had proved their commitment on the weekend the bank fell victim to the credit crunch.

Bradford & Bingley was nationalised at the end of September after speculation over its financial health led to a rush of depositors withdrawing their money.

Pym said: “Customer service is embedded in our culture. On that Saturday morning [27 September], when we were overrun by customer activity, extra staff came in to branches and people volunteered at the call centre.

“When we shut up at 1pm, every customer walked away with the money they wanted. That was a source of immense pride at a desperate time for the organisation.”

Pym also admitted that he was guaranteed a taxpayer-funded payout of £326,000 in 2009, in addition to his £750,000 annual salary.

The bank is keeping its bonus structure from last year to reward staff in 2008. So Pym – hired as chief executive in August – will receive between 50% and 150% of his salary in bonus, while the average staff payout will be about 9%.

Former chairman Rod Kent, who hired Pym, said: “This was not an amazingly attractive post. It was up to us to put together a remuneration package to attract someone of calibre.”

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