Clydesdale denies parent’s claim that PPI scandal bosses were sacked

Andrew Thorburn
Andrew Thorburn

Clydesdale Bank has denied that it sacked staff involved in the falsifying of customer records in a PPI scandal that this week saw the Financial Conduct Authority hit the Glasgow-based lender with a record-breaking £20 million fine.

A statement by Andrew Thorburn, chief executive of National Australia Bank, which owns Clydesdale, said individuals who had been involved in the conduct that the FCA said may have caused thousands of customer’s PPI complaints to be rejected unfairly had been “removed”.

The £20.7 million fine levied on the bank this week was by three times the biggest fine relating to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints mishandling.

In a statement relating to the decision, the regulator accepted the bank’s claim that neither senior management, nor the “PPI leadership team,” was aware of the malpractice.

However, reports emanating from Australian in the wake of the debacle claimed that staff had still been sacked and managers punished with loss of bonuses.

Commenting on the episode, Mr Thorburn said “management were accountable, even if they weren’t responsible”.

Suggesting that bosses bonuses had been affected, he added: “Some incentive outcomes were zero.”

Mr Thorburn’s comments were backed by a source within the bank that said bonuses had been hit.

Bonuses had been zero in 2012 and reduced in 2013 and the the source added: “The group has a clear policy of not paying bonuses for underperformance.”

Debbie Crosbie, Clydesdale’s acting chief executive, said: “While we can’t discuss specific individuals, appropriate disciplinary action has been taken and remains an area that we will continue to actively review. We take full accountability for our actions and for putting this right for customers.”

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