Bank CEO says he accepted his $4.2 million job on the condition that he can work from home

bank ceo says he accepted his $4.2 million job on the condition that he can work from home

Santander Bank

Santander has adopted a hybrid work policy across its branches, requiring a minimum of two days per week in the office in the UK.

While CEOs across the banking industry have been pushing for their employees to return to the office, the head of Santander Bank says he only took the job because of the work-from-home flexibility.

Santander chief Mike Regnier told The Guardian in an interview published Tuesday that he accepted the role in 2022 because of the option to work from his home in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

“I don’t think it’s absolutely vital that people spend all five days a week in the office as they did pre-Covid,” Regnier said. “And, actually, had it not been for Covid, I wouldn’t have accepted this job, because I wouldn’t have wanted to be away from home five days a week in London. That wouldn’t have been good for the family or for me.”

Regnier’s pay package in 2023 was £3.3m ($4.2 million).

Santander has adopted a hybrid work policy across its branches, requiring a minimum of two days per week in the office for its 19,000 employees in the United Kingdom. The bank’s relatively relaxed work policy draws a stark contrast to that of other banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

RTO push in the banking sector

Last year, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sent a memo to staff asking that managing directors come to the office five days a week, and warned other employees that they needed to attend in person at least three days per week.

“I completely understand why someone doesn’t want to commute an hour and a half every day, totally got it,” Dimon told The Economist last July. “Doesn’t mean they have to have a job here either.”

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has also been a vocal critic of remote work, calling it an “aberration” back in 2021. “This is not ideal for us and it’s not a new normal,” Solomon said at a Credit Suisse Group conference in February of that year, Bloomberg reported. “It’s an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”

Citigroup has been relatively lax compared to its peers, requiring workers to go to the office at least three days a week. But the bank has taken enforcement of hybrid policies seriously. Last summer, Citi told staffers that it would be monitoring swipes at its UK offices to monitor its return-to-office push — and dole out punishments to those who flouted the policy.

Read more

Businesses are betting on office amenities to boost their return-to-office push

Office vacancies are near 20% as the ‘slow bleed’ continues

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