Colchester: MP’s fury as former Royal London boss gets huge pay off

AN MP has branded as “obscene” a multi-million pound package for the former boss of Royal London, who led the company when it pulled its national headquarters out of Colchester, costing hundreds of local jobs.

Mike Yardley stepped down as chief executive of the Royal London Group after 13 years last September.

It has now been revealed in the company’s annual accounts that the 55-year-old is set to receive a pension of around �447,000 a year - around �9,000 a week.

He was paid �1.16m for working nine months of last year before stepping down - including a performance related bonus of around �700,000 - and after leaving the firm has received further entitlements and incentive payments of �313,000 and �924,000.

Last night a spokesman for Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life and pensions company, defended the figures and awards, saying they reflected “strong operating performance”.

But Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, who said around 1,000 jobs had been lost when Royal London pulled its national headquarters out of the town, attacked the figures and promised to raise the matter with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Sir Bob said: “I believe this package is obscene and seriously damages the Coalition Government’s stance of wanting fairness as we tackle the financial mess left by the last Labour Government.

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“For Mr Yardley to be awarded such a financial reward is not acceptable and I hope that the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer will join me in condemning it.”

Sir Bob expressed the hope that the 3.8 million customers of the Royal London, whose mutual membership will have the chance to vote against directors’ remuneration, will block the award.

He added: “Those in the Royal London who made these decisions need to be made to explain themselves, which they ought to be forced to do at next month’s members meeting in London.”

However, a Royal London spokesman told the EADT: “The performance-related awards of the remuneration package reflect the strong operating performance of Royal London over a number of years.

“The long term scheme, in particular, is designed to be well aligned with the long term interests of members and other policyholders. A substantial part of the performance-related awards were earned, and reported, in previous years but are only now becoming payable.”