Million pound pay deals for bankers

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Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland paid the same number of bankers £1 million in 2014 as the year before despite sustained losses and public anger.

The lender, 80% owned by the taxpayer, gave 72 employees £1 million or more in 2014, the same number as in 2013 – while claiming it was at the “leading edge of reform” on bringing down banker pay.

RBS last week reported a £3.5 billion annual loss for last year, though this was an improvement on the £8.2 billion loss a year before.

Today’s figures also cover a year in which the bank paid £399 million in fines to US and UK regulators over the foreign exchange rate rigging scandal.

Its remuneration report today disclosed that the number of bankers paid one million euro (£806,000 according to the exchange rate it used) or more fell from 131 to 110.

But the number paid 1.5 million euro (£1.21 million) or more actually rose, from 43 to 51. The number of sterling millionaires created by the bank was not disclosed in the report but was understood to be 72.

Last year saw three staff paid between five million and six million euro (£4-4.8 million) according to the report.

It also disclosed that 1,200 employees earned total remuneration of more than £250,000 while 6,700 made do with between £100,000 and £250,000, and 15,500 were paid between £50,000 and £100,000.

Chief executive Ross McEwan last week admitted that the lender’s £421 million bonus pool – 21% down on 2013 – remained “outrageous” and confirmed he would not be taking his own £1 million role-based incentive.

Today’s report disclosed his total remuneration for 2014 was £1.85 million, including a £1 million basic salary, £143,00 in benefits, £350,000 for his pension and £358,000 from a long-term bonus award.

Finance director Ewen Stevenson received substantially more, at £3.1 million, after pocketing a £1.9 million golden hello share award following his move from Credit Suisse.

Meanwhile former chief executive Stephen Hester, who was ousted in 2013, received a shares award that vested last year worth £858,847.

Sandy Crombie, chairman of the group performance and remuneration committee, said: “The committee must balance the views of our stakeholders with our duty to reward our people fairly, and our responsibility to ensure we are running a commercial business with the best available talent.

“RBS has been at the leading edge of reform in bringing down how much we pay and changing the structure of how pay is delivered.”

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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