STANDARD LIFE'S board was yesterday dealt a hefty blow after policyholders not only attacked the company's generous executive remuneration packages but almost voted down any future pay rises.
The Scotsman reports the board of directors only just escaped an embarrassing majority vote against their pay after an unexpected number of policyholders came to the mutual's annual meeting in Edinburgh.
The board said it planned to demutualise the company by 2006-7 after its core product - its with-profits fund - became so unpopular it was left with no choice but to float the company to raise capital.
That said, several members of the company questioned the £3m in salary and bonuses the directors received last year after with-profits policyholders saw their own payouts axed three times in 13 months.
Some 43% of policyholders voted against the board’s remuneration, with just 57% voting for the resolution.
LEAVING SCOTLAND, chancellor Gordon Brown's savings plan waw under the microscope again after MPs casted doubts on his forecast savings of £20bn across the public sector would be feasible, says the FT.
According to the Labour-dominated Commons Treasury Select Committee, Brown's 2.5% annual efficiency savings target could be described as "challenging and one which leaves little room for manoeuvre".
John McFall, Labour chairman of the committee, also said the issue of measurement had to taken into account. "It shouldn't be underestimated," he added.
OTHER PLANS outlined by the chancellor in his Budget last month also received a rather lukewarm reception, with housebuilder Bellway's chief executive John Watson saying the Barker housing review was "a start" that would not offer a quick-fix.
Watson told The Daily Telegraph: "It's not instant coffee by any means but at least the Government has taken on board the fact that we are well under supplied. We need a sea change at the local level. The mindset has to change towards planning permission."
He added: "Interest rates are not a concern for us and we would hope to see a reduction in the rate of house price inflation to reflect earnings and to avoid a snap."IFAonline
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