RBS bank hikes bonus pot for chief executive
Bailed-out British lender Royal Bank of Scotland said Tuesday that chief executive Stephen Hester will be able to earn an extra bonus of up to £4.5 million in shares depending on performance.
It means that Hester can potentially earn £7.7 million (8.9 million euros, $12.4 million) for his work in 2010.
The award -- made under the bank's long-term incentive plan -- is on top of his £2 million annual bonus and £1.2 million salary, recently announced by the bank.
"These awards follow exhaustive consultation with our shareholders and we believe they appropriately balance demonstrating restraint while remaining fully supportive of our leadership through the RBS turnaround plan," the bank said in a statement.
The high levels of bonuses paid to Hester and other executives at the bank have been heavily criticised by unions and opposition politicians since RBS is 83-percent owned by the taxpayer after a state rescue during the financial crisis.
Barclays bank, which did not need a bailout, said Monday that chief executive Bob Diamond had been handed an annual cash bonus of £6.5 million.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Britain's biggest trade union Unite, said: "While most taxpayers continue to suffer during tough economic times the top bankers at RBS, and yesterday at Barclays, celebrate their ludicrous bonuses.
"While everyone else is worried about paying their household bills, these people are counting their bundles of cash."
© 2011 AFP