Shareholders blast ‘leaderless flock of docile sheep’ at Yorkshire Bank’s parent

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ANGRY SHAREHOLDERS have barracked the board of National Australia Bank and called for an overhaul at the parent of Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks, according to media reports of the annual meeting in Brisbane.

One shareholder was quoted describing the board as “a leaderless flock of docile sheep” and said “a couple of all-in wrestlers” are needed to shake up “an entrenched culture of apathy”.

Leeds-based Yorkshire and Clydesdale have been blamed for a near 10 per cent fall in full-year cash earnings for their parent after being hit with legacy conduct charges.

NAB has set aside more than £1.23bn to compensate UK customers for the mis-selling of useless or toxic products to households and businesses.

Australian shareholders have long blamed Yorkshire and Clydesdale for poor performance of the group relative to its peers.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank estimate that NAB’s UK and wealth operations eat up about 26 per cent of the group’s equity, but produce just 10 per cent of profits.

Michael Chaney, chairman of NAB since 2005, rejected the criticism of the board.

“There is a steely determination to do well in the future,” he was quoted as saying by the Australian Business Review.

Andrew Thorburn, the new CEO, told shareholders that selling Yorkshire and Clydesdale was “urgent”, said the report.