THE Co-operative Bank came under fire yesterday after handing boss Niall Booker a massive pay rise despite its losses more than doubling to £ 610.6 million.
Chief executive Mr Booker got & pound; 385million, a jump of 25 per cent as he benefited from long-term incentive awards.
These include a & pound; 502000 annual bonus.
The bank's losses in the year to the end of December were up from & pound; 264.2million previously.
The Co-op said its losses stem from the previous management when it nearly collapsed in 2013 after a & pound; 1.5billion black hole was discovered in its balance sheet.
But campaigners hit out at the huge pay hike. Shaun Fensom, of the Save our Bank group, said: "We recognise the value of having people who know what they are doing at the top but we believe they should show some restraint.
"We think it sends a good message if people at the top are prepared to take smaller amounts and have called for Niall Booker to reject his bonus."
Following its crisis, the bank had to be rescued by bondholders including US hedge funds in a move that saw the wider Co-op group's ownership of the bank reduced to a 20 per cent stake.
Mr Booker has sold off risky assets and slashed branches in a bid to get the business back in shape.
Chairman Dennis Holt said it was "optimistic about the viability of the core bank franchise".
The Co-op Bank failed a Bank of England stress test in December 2014.
Mr Booker said since then it had cut its non-core assets by half and raised & pound; 250million of capital to bolster its balance sheet.
Co-op bank 'to remain unprofitable for two years' after confirming £ 1.3bn losses
FINANCE COMMENT: Co-Op bank chief Niall Booker is being rewarded too soon
Co-op Bank in the red until 2017