Simon English: Let's deny Hester's bonus as a test
Friday 20 January 2012
Outlook: Is Stephen Hester deserving of a bonus? In some ways you can see he is. No one doubts that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief executive has a mighty task ahead of him.
And no one particularly doubts he's the right man for the job. To hear him talk is to be reassured; he's a very clever fellow, no question.
The thing is, if we're trying to move to a place where bonuses come only after good results are achieved rather than in expectation of future returns, giving him anything on top of his salary sends all the wrong signals.
Any fool who took a punt on the shares lately (erm, yes, guilty) is suffering. Why must Mr Hester get prizes? Since we own it, RBS can be the testing ground for whether lower banker pay really impacts on performance or not. It'd be a bit inconvenient were Mr Hester to quit, but at least we'd get to see whether the next man – a cheaper operator presumably – is actually any worse than the supposed star.
When Mr Hester signed up for this gig, he knew it was going to be politically sensitive. And he surely understood that it was partly an act of public service.
The Prime Minister should ask him to waive his bonus. Let's appeal to his better nature, if only to see whether he has one.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...