£4m pay and bonus package for the UK boss of Santander bank

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The boss of Santander’s UK arm was awarded more than £4m in pay and bonuses for 2011 – despite the bank reporting a slide in profits after it put aside more than half a billion pounds to cover the cost of mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI). But chief executive Ana Botin, who received £4.1m including £1.7m salary, and her fellow executive directors were all denied any share awards under the bank’s long-term incentive plan.

Santander UK’s bottom-line profits fell 40 per cent to £993m after it put aside £538m to deal with claims from mis-sold PPI, while underlying profits, excluding PPI, were still down 6 per cent to £1.5bn.

Ms Botin’s pay was revealed shortly after what was dubbed the banking industry’s “day of shame”, in which Barclays reported that its chief executive Bob Diamond made £6.3m in 2011, while Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester and Lloyds head Antonio Horta-Osorio were awarded long term shares worth £1.6m and £3.3m respectively.

Santander expanded significantly in the UK following the acquisition of Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and Abbey National and is in the process of buying 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Ms Botin, the highest paid director at the bank, was appointed chief executive on December 1, 2010 and consequently did not work for Santander during the period affected by the PPI mis-selling claims.

But the bank, which writes about one in six UK mortgages, battled with higher costs of regulation, including the Government’s bank levy, higher lending costs and limited demand for loans in 2011.