RBS paid £1m to bankers before and after losses

Royal Bank of Scotland paid out 72 employees one million pounds in 2013 and 2014, despite recording significant losses in the interim period. Picture: Getty

Royal Bank of Scotland paid out 72 employees one million pounds in 2013 and 2014, despite recording significant losses in the interim period. Picture: Getty

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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, it emerged yesterday.

The lender, 80 per cent owned by the taxpayer, gave 72 employees £1m 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 £8.2bn loss a year before.

The figure, released yesterday, also covers a year in which the bank paid £399m in fines to US and UK regulators over the foreign exchange rate rigging scandal.

Its remuneration report disclosed that the number of bankers paid €1m (£806,000 according to the exchange rate it used) or more fell from 131 to

110.

But the number paid €1.5m 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 €5m and €6m 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 £421m bonus pool – 21 per cent down on 2013 – remained “outrageous” and confirmed he would not be taking his own £1m role-based incentive.

This most recent report disclosed his total remuneration for 2014 was £1.85m, including a £1m 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 £3.1m, after pocketing a £1.9m 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.”

Labour MP John Mann, who sits on parliament’s Treasury select committee, said the awards were unacceptable.

“Here is a bank that’s not doing very well, that the taxpayer owns and has underwritten, so why should these few not very successful bankers get paid so much money? I don’t think you’ll find a taxpayer in Britain who would support this,” he said.

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