Waves of relief rippled through the North East of England yesterday when it became clear that those whose jobs are under threat in Northern Rock need have no more sleepless nights as to their futures. Over 2000 staff at Northern Rock, are anticipating that they will be made redundant in the next six months as the troubled finance house battens down the hatches to ensure commercial survival following its nationalisation. The relief felt by many Northern Rock employees was prompted by news of the terms of the first wave of redundancies being released. If these initial redundancy settlements are harbingers of the terms of all the severances to be announced in the coming time period, then many facing redundancy and wondering how they will make ends meet once they are laid off by 'The Rock' will be able to sleep easy in their beds, confident that the company will be applying the same spirit demonstrated in the terms offered to the first redundant employees to all others facing the chop. Demonstrating particular generousity and compassion Northern Rock is giving, what some unkind commentators have described as 'disgraced' former chief executive Adam Applegarth ( top left- looking quietly replete )a £760,000 pay-off, a £346,000 pension top-up and continuing to honour his cut-price staff mortgage.
The pay-off is much larger than the sum foreshadowed in December, when sources close to the bank insisted Mr Applegarth would get less than six months' pay, and no doubt will be good news for all other Northern Rock staff, who had feared erroneously it would appear that they would receive a miserly statutory pay-off.
It was'nt just a one off flash of benevolence though, Bryan Sanderson ( depicted right looking quite pleased with himself), who was appointed chairman on 19 October and stood down to make way for Mr Sandler last month, will be allowed to keep his £315,000 fee and up to £85,000 for office costs. Paul Thompson, (depicted bottom right pissing himself laughing ) who was heading a company-preferred buy-out vehicle for Rock, was paid £100,000 for his services as a non-executive director from 17 January to 22 February - for five weeks' work.
Mr Applegarth, who was responsible for devising and implementing the bank's disastrously flawed strategy, is being paid the golden goodbye in 12 monthly instalments of £63,000, according to the annual report published yesterday. The value of his pension pot increased by £346,000 last year, the annual report also reveals, and now stands at £2.6 million. The accrued pension entitlement is £305,000 a year. Mr Applegarth, 45, will also continue to enjoy a concessionary staff interest rate on £75,000 of his mortgage from the bank, Rock said, without disclosing the precise terms. The pay-off is equivalent to a year's base pay for Mr Applegarth, who left his job in December after announcing plans to step down in November. He had run the bank for the previous six years.
That surely is great news for all hard working Northern Rock staff members, it gives one a warm glow to know that theres at least one employer out there who knows how to ensure that its former employees are compensated for the loss of their livelihood. In fact if this is the sort of pay-off for the jokers whose visionary leadership led to the Northern Rock's near demise, then the hard working blameless people who carried on the Rock's day to day service to customers can surely expect such consummate generosity will be extended to them? No ?
NB....This piece was posted on 1st April 2008.....but its not an April Fools Joke..