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UK News German giant's bonus haul after £1bn Bank loan

03:15  28 february  2021
03:15  28 february  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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German chemicals giant BASF has paid its directors and staff a bonus worth €360million (£312million) after borrowing £1billion from the Bank of England.

The £51billion manufacturer – which operates around the globe and at 11 UK locations, including at plants in Bradford in West Yorkshire and Alfreton in Derbyshire – said part of the payout was based on a 'recognition and appreciation' bonus.

In an upbeat statement on Friday, BASF also said it would pay its investors a €3billion final dividend – the same as last year.

text: Boost: In an upbeat statement, BASF also said it would pay its investors a €3billion final dividend – the same as last year © Provided by This Is Money Boost: In an upbeat statement, BASF also said it would pay its investors a €3billion final dividend – the same as last year

It said a 'year-end rally' meant full-year sales beat expectations. However, the disruption earlier in the year meant underlying performance targets were not met, so the board changed the threshold for payouts by a special resolution.

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In addition to German banks , Bon-Kredit cooperates with foreign banks that provide loans in Germany . This is the background, why Bon-Kredit can also offer „schufa-free credits loans “. In a schufa-free loan , the creditworthiness of the customer is checked, but not through the Schufa-query (credit investigation company). Loans for self-employed and companies Here, the risk for the bank is the highest and therefore also the interest rate is often higher than for loans for private persons. In this form of loan , German banks are generally more cautious.

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BASF's emergency Bank of England loan, which is guaranteed by the Treasury, was the biggest handed to any corporation in the heat of the crisis. The loan scheme for large companies allowed foreign firms to apply if they had a material presence in the UK.

Concern over firms handing out bonuses and dividends while borrowing cheaply from the central bank prompted the Treasury to tighten rules on the taxpayer-backed loan agreements in May.

But Covid Corporate Financing Facility loans taken before then, including BASF's giant debt, are not covered by the restrictions on rewarding executives or investors.

The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that the US owner of Boots gave its billionaire boss Stefano Pessina a windfall of almost £50million just days after the pharmacy giant drew £300million from the loan scheme. Last month, Boots' owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance, signalled another dividend payment – its biggest quarterly payout ever – taking the total paid during the crisis to more than £1billion.

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Some 90 per cent rate mortgages have come back onto the market, but supply has limited and there is also a strict eligibility criteria. It is understood without such guarantees lenders have been reluctant to give high-risk loans for fear that property values may not be sustainable and the increased likelihood of buyers suffering job losses due to the Covid lockdown. Like in that scheme, banks will pay a fee to the Treasury for the guarantee on the mortgage. Last time it was set at 0.9 per cent. Mr Sunak said: 'Owning a home is a dream for millions across the UK and we want to help as many people as possible.

Last month, Bank of America scrapped a proposed bonus policy for high-earning traders and dealmakers after it caused consternation. Donofrio also said at the conference that the bank expects declining loan levels to be a drag on net interest income, or revenue from customer loan payments minus what the company pays depositors, this quarter. “It puts more pressure on the near-term NII, but not as much on the full year, assuming we see some loan growth turn around” in the second half, Donofrio said.

BASF said it intended to repay its loan next month and pointed out it would not pay the bonus windfall to staff and directors until May.

When asked about the 'appreciation' bonus, BASF said: 'This year's bonus payment is due to a discretionary decision of the board of directors in appreciation of the outstanding work of the BASF team worldwide.' BASF chairman Dr Martin Brudermüller said in a separate statement: 'With this bonus, we want to acknowledge the huge effort put in by the BASF team in the pandemic year 2020, which was difficult for everyone.'

He said of the dividend: 'A reliable dividend payment is a priority for us, even in difficult times.'

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