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As Chancellor regrets not revamping bank earlier...

Loss-making Royal Bank of Scotland paid 72 staff more than £1 million

Ross McEwan(Update) Royal Bank of Scotland staff paid 72 staff at least £1 million last year, just slightly less than in 2103 as chief executive Ross McEwan attempts to keep a lid on the public backlash over excess pay.

The number of employees in the seven-figure bracket has fallen each year since the bail out in 2008 but this is not likely to stem criticism after it slumped to a £3.5 billion loss last year.

The total payout to the eight top paid staff below board level, whose salaries have to be declared, is higher because some of them did not work a full year for the bank in the previous 12 month period.

Stephen Hester, the former chief executive, will also receive a substantial payment in line with his contracts bonuses, but the current CEO Ross McEwan and his fellow directors have waived certain allowances.

Mr McEwan forfeited a £1m payment just days before unveiling another bottom line annual loss of £3.5 billion last week. But he was caught out in a radio interview when he described the bonus payments to bankers as “outrageous”.

The number of “material risk takers”, formerly known as code staff – those identified as having a certain level of responsibility – is likely to rise significantly from 342 in last year’s statement. Barclays this week said it had 1,277 such staff.

The figures have been declared in euros in line with the requirements of the European regulators, and payments are in bands so the figure of 72 is not confirmed. The number paid €1m or more fell from 131 to 110.

Separately, in an interview with the Financial Times the Chancellor George Osborne says he made a mistake in not radically restructuring the bank earlier and hopes to get it off the Treasury’s books as soon as possible.

He told the paper that “on some measures it’s bigger than all the privatisations of the 1980s put together.

“I think people want to see they get their money back. The British taxpayer wants to feel they haven’t suffered some enormous loss.

“So there are constraints around it, but it’s certainly something I would want to get moving on in the summer after the election. I would want to see a review on a plan for disposal.”


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