NAB pays Mike Baird $1.9m after quitting in March

Former New South Wales premier Mike Baird has pocketed more than $1.9 million from the National Australia Bank, accounting for just under 10 per cent of the total payments made to executives by the bank in financial year 2020.

Figures released in NAB’s annual report on Wednesday show Mr Baird was paid $677,791 in cash plus a combination of short and long-term incentives and a cessation payment of $1.1 million or 26 weeks’ pay. Total payments made to NAB executives for financial year ending September 30 came in at $20.6 million.

Former NSW premier Mike Baird announced his resignation from NAB in March.
Former NSW premier Mike Baird announced his resignation from NAB in March. Credit:

The former premier resigned after three years at the bank in March after he was rumoured to be among the candidates for the chief executive role, taken by Ross McEwan in December.

The bank’s board and Mr McEwan took a 20 per cent pay cut from April to September 30 to “reflect the challenges” faced by its customers, shareholders and the broader community. No senior executives were paid bonuses under this agreement.


NAB chairman Philip Chronican praised Mr McEwan’s leadership in his annual remarks to shareholders. “Ross has quickly shown he is the right leader for NAB through this crisis and beyond.”

Mr McEwan was paid $2.42 million for the year, lower than all of the big four bank’s competitors. CBA chief Matt Comyn was paid almost $4 million that saw a protest vote at its annual general meeting last month, ANZ’s Shayne Elliott received $3.7 million and Westpac’s Peter King was paid $3.5 million for the year.

Mr Chronican said the past year has been “uniquely confronting” with the drought and fires followed by the pandemic devastation.

“In that, we are no different from most businesses around the world that are dealing with disruptions unparalleled in most of our lifetimes,” Mr Chronican said. “Our bank and our people have been tested.”

Mr Chronican said the bank’s balance sheet was critical in uncertain times, and it would continue to grow while “driving sustainable change” including boosting accountability and climate action.

“We have a clear ambition, and we will not walk away from industries working towards a low carbon economy,” he said.

The bank said it has made progress on its strategy to improve staff conduct, resulting in 225 employees leaving the company and 880 employees receiving coaching or other remedial actions, including loss of variable rewards.

Two out of four targets for NAB’s group performance were not met, reducing the overall bonus pool by 75 per cent.

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