PRESENTATION: how six big bosses of the construction company make a fortune

Although their numbers have declined over the years, mortgage lenders remain a powerful force in the savings market.

With branches often located in communities that banks have long deserted and savings rates generally (not always) higher than those offered by banks, they remain popular, especially among older savers.

Given their focus on clients, it was widely expected that these member-owned organizations would gain an advantage over their banking rivals by immediately raising savings rates following the increase in the bank base rate last month. . Yet, they did nothing of the sort.

Belonging to members? Mortgage companies were expected to immediately raise rates following the bank base rate hike last month. Yet they didn’t do anything like it

Procrastination is the order of the day. It’s a position that has angered those who think that these hugely profitable organizations and their highly paid CEOs should now stand up for savers.

As part of The Mail on Sunday’s Give Savers A Rate Rise campaign, we researched answers from the nation’s largest construction companies – while highlighting some of the rum savings deals these organizations have (and we prefer not to talk about it).

At national scale

Nationwide is the big daddy of the construction company industry with over 16 million “members” (clients). Indeed, it is more important than the rest of the industry combined (42 companies). As a result, it is the flag that waves building societies – for better or for worse.

So far, he has done nothing to demonstrate that he is sensitive to the needs of his savers (more interest, please). Rather than being bold and taking the initiative to raise savings rates, he sat on his hands.

“We are currently examining the impact that the announcement of the base rate will have on [our] borrowers and savers and will announce more details in due course, ”is the response he gave the Mail on Sunday when asked when he would raise savings rates.

This means that many of its savers in accounts like Instant Access Saver and Instant Isa Saver continue to receive pitiful interest rates between 0.01 and 0.05 percent, depending on how much they’ve saved with Nationwide. .

The rates (0.01%) are no better than those offered by the big banks. It’s not like Nationwide is in financial trouble – the company made £ 853million in profits in the six months ending in late September of last year.

Maybe GM Joe Garner looked away from the ball. He has already announced his intention to quit the Swindon-based mutual once TSB boss Debbie Crosbie takes over.

During the financial year ended at the end of April, Garner received compensation totaling £ 1,236,000 – an increased sum of £ 289,000 in bonuses.

To put this in context, someone with £ 100,000 stashed in a Nationwide Instant Access Saver account currently receives annual interest of £ 50.

Mutuality at its best? Pull the other.


Although a fifth the size of Nationwide, Coventry is the second largest construction company in the country with assets of over £ 53 billion.

It is also profitable, generating a pre-tax profit of £ 124.4million for the first half of last year, the same as for the entire 2020 calendar year.

The 2020 accounts show boss Steve Hughes was paid £ 702,000 – including a bonus of £ 143,000.

That was for seven months of work, but includes £ 160,000 for lost wages resulting from his resignation as boss of the smaller Principality company to take up his post at Coventry.

Savers (1.65million of them) have £ 39bn of their money with the company. However, the mutual is not too generous in terms of savings interest.

Its Instant Access account pays 0.01 percent annual interest – no better than what the big banks currently pay on equivalent accounts.

But he pays a little more – 0.3% – both on Easy Access Saver (number 7) and on his Easy Access Isa (number 11), which is tax-efficient. So far, he hasn’t raised the rates on any of those savings accounts to reflect the increase in the base rate.

He told the Mail on Sunday on Friday: “We are reviewing our floating rate savings products following the 0.15% increase in the Bank’s base rate. We’ll contact our members if there are any changes to their savings accounts – and we’ll let you know at the same time. ‘

Someone with £ 100,000 in the company’s Instant Access account can currently expect (intentional sarcasm) to earn £ 10 annual interest. A misery.


In the first half of 2021, this Bradford-based mutual made profits of £ 147.7million, more than double that of the first half of 2020.

He was rocked late last year when boss Mike Regnier announced he would be leaving to lead Santander UK operations. Regnier has been well rewarded in Yorkshire, receiving £ 926,000 in 2020 – including a bonus of £ 226,000.

Stephen White, previously COO, is now Interim CEO. In 2020, he received £ 698,000, including a bonus of £ 165,000. Yorkshire has assets of £ 49bn and some 2.4million savers, collectively saving more than £ 35bn.

In its defense, the company pays half-decent savings rates (corroborated by financial benchmarking firm CACI).

On Internet Saver Plus Issue 9 he pays interest between 0.4 and 0.5% while on the Isa equivalent – Internet Saver ISA Plus Issue 9 – he pays between 0.35% and 0.45%.

Equivalent bank / postal accounts – Access Saver Plus Issue 6 and Access Saver Isa Plus Issue 7 – pay a little less: between 0.15 and 0.4 percent.

Yet, so far, Yorkshire has failed to raise rates.

Not surprisingly given that the six promises he made to savers in 2021 made no mention of a rate hike if the base rate increased. He told the Mail on Sunday on Friday: “We are still reviewing the impact on our standard floating rate savings accounts, and no decision has been made yet.”


Skipton made profits of £ 159m in the first half of 2021 with assets reaching almost £ 29bn.

It describes itself as “a good place to save” and for the first five months of 2021 it paid an average savings rate of 0.7% (impressive compared to the base rate in effect at the time of 0 , 1%). It has some 842,000 savers.

While the company has raised the rate on its base rate tracking accounts – Online Cash Isa Tracker Issue 2 and Cash Isa Tracker Issue 2 – to 0.6%, it has yet to announce what it is doing to. the rest of his variable savings accounts.

His instant access accounts (eSaver Issue 22 and Everyday Saver, Issue 11) are currently paying 0.3% while his Cash eIsa Saver Issue 10 is paying 0.45%.

Managing Director David Cutter was paid £ 646,000 in 2020. Unlike many of his peers, he did not receive a bonus. Someone with £ 100,000 in Everyday Saver is about to receive annual interest of £ 300.

Skipton on Friday said “he is now reviewing the impact of the base rate change on savings rates.”


Leeds more than doubled its profits in the first six months of last year, from £ 32.6million to £ 70.3million.

Reporting the results, chief executive Richard Fearon said the company had “supported” savers by keeping branches open for access to essential financial services and paying “above market” savings rates. In 2020, Fearon received £ 684,000 – ten months as managing director – a sum inflated by a hefty bonus of £ 190,000.

For all the brilliance of Fearon, some of Leeds’ easy-access offerings are far from sparkling – with interest rates as low as 0.15% (Isa Saver, E-Isa, Access Saver and E-Saver) .

Leeds told the Mail on Sunday: “We are examining the potential impact of the latest announcement from the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee.

As a building company, balancing the needs of savers and borrowers is important to us, and we’ve worked hard in this low interest rate environment to deliver long-term value to both.

He added: ‘Leeds has always paid savers more than the average interest rate, which equates to an annual benefit of £ 75million for our savers.

“The majority of Leeds savers and borrowers use fixed rate products. Therefore, their rates will remain the same until the end of their fixed periods.

Someone with £ 100,000 in Access Saver currently receives annual interest of £ 150.


The sixth-largest company in the country, with a branch network focused on Wales, has come back from the precipice after recording losses of £ 6.4million in the first half of 2020 (construction company losses are not seen by the regulator).

In the first half of last year it reported profits of £ 33.1million.

Based in Cardiff, Principality is led by Julie-Ann Haines who was appointed Managing Director in September 2020.

For 2020, she received £ 404,000, including £ 94,000 in bonuses.

The company says it is “currently working” on the implications of what the recent base rate hike “means for our members.”

As it blows, blows and procrastinates, savers in Instant Access and Variable Rate Cash Isa continue to receive 0.1% interest – £ 100 annual interest on a savings of £ 100,000.

And finally, a view from the outside

“Construction companies should do more for savers.”

That’s the opinion of Alan Debenham, secretary of the Building Societies Members Association, an organization created 40 years ago to represent the interests of all of the society‘s clients – borrowers and savers.

Taunton-based Debenham has long been a thorn in the side of many construction companies, accusing them of overpaying their executives and rewarding them with undeserved bonuses.

He even tried (unsuccessfully) to be elected to Nationwide’s board as an independent director.

On the reluctance of companies to raise savings rates, he says: “Savers don’t get a fair deal and rates should be improved immediately.

“Some savings rates are just terrible.

“It is shameful considering the generous compensation that is paid to the executives of the construction company from the profits these mutuals make from my tastes and the loyal readers of The Mail on Sunday.”

Savings accounts

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