Bank chief Hester to forgo bonus

Stephen HesterRBS chief executive Stephen Hester has announced that he will forgo his bonus this year because of the problems caused to thousands of customers by a failure in the company's computers.

The IT glitch delayed payments to NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank accounts, leaving some customers short of cash and even forcing one man to spend a weekend in prison when his bail money was not available.
Mr Hester said that the problems were caused by issues dating back to before he arrived at RBS in 2008, but taking a bonus would be "inappropriate".

He told the BBC: "I think it is inappropriate for me to have a bonus this year. We have let our customers down.

"That may have arisen from old systems and things that were from before my time, but I think we could reasonably have been expected to have improved things since then and clearly we didn't improve them enough. So it wouldn't cross my mind to have a bonus this year."

A spokeswoman for RBS Group said there was no figure for the bonus Mr Hester would have received, as it was more a case of him not being considered for one.

The meltdown, which began on Tuesday last week, meant that debits and credits have not been showing up in customers' accounts, leaving people with disappearing wages, disrupted holidays and difficulties with house moves.

RBS Group has extended its opening hours to cope with the chaos and even took the step of opening on a Sunday this week for the first time.

The banking group has promised that no one will be left out of pocket over the problems and has urged people to keep a record of how they were affected.

Fears have been raised that some people may unknowingly end up with blots on their credit scores, but the group has said it is working with agencies to make sure this does not happen.
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