View more on these topics

Shareholder fury at Abbey

Abbey was faced with furious shareholders last week after it admitted at its annual general meeting that its rebranding had cost over £11m.

Shareholders at the AGM in London last Thursday expressed their anger over Abbey&#39s financial losses and said the name change was a total waste of money. One shareholder told the executives present at the meeting that they were “not worth a cup of cold water between them”.

Abbey, which is undergoing a major restructuring programme, reported losses of £686m in 2003. Although its first quarter trading statement highlights a return to profit at a group statutory level, net mortgage lending is down 16% compared with the same time last year to £2.1bn.

Abbey&#39s estimated gross and net mortgage lending market shares are also down from 10.7% to 10.1% and from 10.9% to 9.2% respectively.

During the meeting chairman Tony Burns was put under pressure concerning the large remuneration packages the company&#39s executives have received. The shareholders believe the board should only receive rewards when the company is back on track. One shareholder spoke of his disbelief that percentage increases in executive remunerations were as high as 70% excluding share options and pensions.

Burns responded that Abbey executives do not set their own pay, which is decided by a remuneration committee.

Also speaking at the AGM, chief executive Luqman Arnold tried to calm shareholder concerns by saying that the worst seemed to be over.

He says: “We have sold £50bn of the £60bn in our portfolio business unit. We believe the majority of our big losses have already happened. It is possible more losses will come but these will be substantially smaller.”

Recommended

The Woolwich and Barclays launch lifetime tracker mortgage

The Woolwich and Barclays are launching a tracker mortgage on April 23 that allows borrowers to track the base rate at plus 0.04% for two years and then it reverts to a guaranteed lifetime tracker at 0.95% above base rate. Andy Gray, head of mortgages for The Woolwich and Barclays, says: “The new tracker mortgage […]

MAB to switch packagers

Franchise chain Mortgage Advice Bureau is to part company with its current packager Custom Made Mortgages and take its business to Direct Financial Services. Peter Brodnicki, chief executive of MAB, says the move is amicable and the result of the changing directions of the companies. Custom Made Mortgages was formed in 1996 as a subsidiary […]

Funny money is a serious business

Nearly nine out of 10 (89%) financial services compliance consultants surveyed recently by Huntswood Outsourcing believe that UK financial services providers are failing to comply fully with money laundering regulations. This is a pretty chilling figure but providers have it relatively easy compared with advisers. Money laundering regulation is extremely complex and identifying noncompliant activity […]

PPA cuts cost of term assurance leads

The Professional Adviser Alliance, the UK-wide alliance of intermediaries that provides independent mortgage advice to moneysupermarket.com customers, is cutting the price of its term assurance leads by 30% from £50 each to £35. The move comes after independent research confirmed that term assurance leads generated by the PAA were of good quality with a conversion […]

Pension - thumbnail

David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up