BT deserves credit – clawing back boss's bonus is common sense | Nils Pratley

Photo of BT deserves credit – clawing back boss's bonus is common sense | Nils Pratley

Clawing back Gavin Patterson’s bonus and the exit of accountants PwC will reassure both regulators and shareholders after a hellish year for the telecom

Credit where it’s due. After the accounting catastrophe in Italy and a big fine from Ofcom for overcharging for broadband access on the home front, BT’s remuneration committee has done the decent thing. It has awarded no bonus to chief executive Gavin Patterson and the outgoing finance director. It has clawed back bonuses from both men for past years because the Italian scandal caused a £268m overstatement of profits. That penalty will cost Patterson £338,000. His incentive package for this year has also been reduced because the share price is 25% lower than a year ago.

In a rational world, praise would be unnecessary. After BT’s hellish year, any bonus would have been outrageous, as Patterson happily agreed. Yet too many other companies, confronted by equal share-price disasters for investors, fail to apply common sense.

Related: BT chief's pay package slashed by £4m over Italian accounting scandal

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