Santander offers Alliance & Leicester staff free shares

Santander has offered Alliance & Leicester employees 100 free shares each to encourage them to stay with the company during the merger period, subject to shareholder approval.

The Spanish bank has also offered key employees and executives bonuses of up to 125% of their salary. The incentives will be awarded to employees who remain with the bank until the end of November 2009. Executives who leave before the agreed date because of redundancy or ill health will be entitled to a pro-rata payment.

Before it can complete the takeover of Alliance & Leicester, however, Santander needs to get the approval of its shareholders. Alliance & Leicester has urged its shareholders to accept the £1.3bn takeover offer to protect their investment against market volatility and the economic downturn.