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West Brom chief exec Sharpe gets £660k despite loss of £18m

Sharpe: Basic pay of £390,00 plus £150,000 bonus
Sharpe: Basic pay of £390,00 plus £150,000 bonus

West Bromwich Building Society chief executive Robert Sharpe got £660,000 in pay and bonuses for the 2009/10 financial year as the firm posted losses of £18.5m.

Sharpe, former chief executive of Portman Building Soc-iety, joined West Brom in October 2008 as the society was in the midst of a debt crisis.

Between his appointment and the year-end in March 2009, he earned a total of £228,000 in salary, bonuses and benefits. The society made a loss of £48.4m for the 2008/09 financial year.

Sharpe’s 2009/10 pay package is revealed in a members’ newsletter published last week. It included basic pay of £390,000, a £150,000 bonus, £98,000 of benefits in lieu of pension contributions and £22,000 in other benefits.

Former chief executive Stephen Karle, who quit West Brom in October 2008, received more than £600,000 in pay and benefits for the seven months of 2008 before his departure.

West Brom revealed in May that it had secured a deal to sell broker franchise Mortgageforce to the firm’s existing management for a nominal amount as part of its back-to-basics strategy to focus on its core operations of mortgage lending and savings.

The society last year revealed that it was considering a reb-randing exercise in a bid to polish up its tarnished image.

When West Brom posted its results in May, Sharpe said: “The improvement on last year’s results clearly indicates that we are starting to see the benefits of West Brom’s back-to-basics strategy, with its renewed focus on our traditional strengths as a regionally based society and concentrating on our core activities of savings and residential mortgages. This means we have split the group between the traditional society operations and those that are now in run-off, such as commercial lending, and we are applying the right management focus and skills to each.”

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