RBS management in £18m share deal


McEwan takes the helm at RBS

Royal Bank of Scotland risked stoking more anger over City pay today by handing out shares worth up to £18.2 million for its top management.

The long-term bonus awards include £3 million of shares for chief executive Ross McEwan - a week after he announced the bank made losses of £8.2 billion and pledged to rebuild trust in the part-nationalised lender.

The shares do not vest until 2017 and are subject to performance conditions and clawback provisions, according to today's disclosure to the London Stock Exchange.

The long-term share awards for 11 senior management come after Mr McEwan and his fellow directors waived their right to annual bonus payments for 2013.

That decision followed the mammoth losses and an ongoing investigation into allegations of unscrupulous treatment of small firms.

Further details of RBS's pay policies will emerge in its forthcoming annual report, although the bank has already revealed it shared out more than half a billion in bonuses last year, including £237 million for its investment bankers - £23,010 on average for each employee in the markets division.

Mr McEwan defended the bonus pot, which was 15% lower than in 2012, saying: ''We need to keep people engaged in the job they do all day every day - from the high street to those in our markets business in the United States."

City pay is already under scrutiny because of attempts by the EU to clamp down on pay.

Earlier this week, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group revealed plans to pay their bosses nearly £1 million in share allowances each on top of salary and bonuses to defy new European rules to cap payouts.

Annual reports from the two banking giants showed Antony Jenkins, chief executive at Barclays, will be paid £950,000 over 2014 in quarterly instalments, while taxpayer-backed lender Lloyds said it will hand boss Antonio Horta-Osorio £900,000 in shares.

The allowances are designed to allow the banks to get around the EU bonus cap, which came into force on January 1 limiting annual payouts for 2014 onwards to 100% of annual salary, or a maximum of 200% with shareholder approval.