Angry members of West Bromwich Building Society voted in their thousands against the pay and perks of the mutual’s directors.
Figures released following the society’s stormy annual meeting on Wednesday show that 6,215 members voted not to approve the directors’ remuneration report which revealed a £520,600 pay-off to former chief executive Stephen Karle who quit suddenly last October.
They were massively outvoted by the 42,428 members who approved the payment of wages, benefits and pension contributions totalling £881,000 to the loss-making organisation’s executive board in the year to March 31.
The remuneration report was passed on an 87.22 per cent majority.
A total of 3,374 members voted against the election of new chief executive Robert Sharpe as a director while Edwin Hucks, the only non-executive director up for re-election saw 4,484 votes cast against his name. Mr Sharpe and Mr Hucks were elected on majorities of 93.13 per cent amd 90.86 per cent respectively.
Members who attended Wednesday’s AGM at the Bescot Stadium, in Walsall, attacked Mr Karle’s severance package and called on non-executive directors to resign for failing to prevent a near financial collapse of the 160-year-old building society.
The West Brom had been rumoured to be facing a Treasury bail-out or merger with another society after taking a multi-million hit on toxic commercial loans during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
It was saved by a unique debt-for-equity swap under which holders of its commercial bonds accepted a special type of share entitling them to payouts under certain conditions when the society returns to profit in exchange for regular coupon payments.