HBOS share schemes pay out GBP210m

Two of HBOS’ share schemes are set to pay out nearly £210m when they mature over the next couple of weeks.

Its share option scheme, which will mature on 16 March, will pay out to 50,000 employees who were given free share options based on 20% of their salary in 2004. The average allocation was 554 shares per employee. Based on the option price of £7.125 and Wednesday’s closing share price of £11.53, employees stand to make an average gain of £2,440 each. Collectively, staff will gain £120m.

A further £90m will be paid out to employees who invest all or some†of their annual†bonus in HBOS shares for a three-year period. After this time, they will receive free shares worth 50% of their original investment. The 2004 scheme will mature on 28 February.

Over the past three years, HBOS shares have risen 56.5% compared with 27.7% for the FT Bank Index.

David Fisher, HBOS director of group HR, said: "We believe it is very important that [employees] have a direct stake in the business and share in its success."

A spokesman for HBOS’ unions Accord and Amicus, said: "Accord and Amicus jointly campaign for secure employment, fair rewards and dignity at work in HBOS. With so many negative stories about industrial relations around at the moment it is right for unions to commend and support employers, like HBOS who are doing the right thing by their workforce."