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Northern Rock chief executive took home £1.3 million last year

Gary Hoffman, the chief executive of Northern, took home £1.3 million last year placing him amongst the highest-paid civil servants in the UK. Details of his remuneration package were revealed in the report and accounts for the Northern Rock "bad bank" operation which was separated from the more profitable operations of the original Northern Rock.

Even though the report and accounts also show that he rejected a proposed bonus payment put forward by the remuneration committee, the £1.3 million package for last year will yet again fuel the fire of taxpayers concerns about remuneration in the banking sector. While the company made a loss of £383 million last year this was well down on the £1.3 billion figure in 2008 and it is the fact that these figures were much better than expected which may well have supported the £1.3 million remuneration package.

One of the major issues with the "bad bank" operation of Northern Rock is the very fact the UK authorities are likely to retain this operation indefinitely and effectively look to wind down what is a mishmash of bad loans and bad business. It is also worth remembering that Northern Rock still owes UK taxpayers billions upon billions of pounds from earlier bailout loans, with some suggestions that these will never be repaid in full.

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