RBS chairman declines £1.4m bonus

 

The chairman of the taxpayer-funded Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will not receive a shares bonus worth £1.4 million, the bank said today.

Sir Philip Hampton's decision comes days after RBS chief executive Stephen Hester came under fire over a £963,000 bonus awarded to him.

An RBS spokesman said: "Sir Philip Hampton will not receive the 5.17 million shares he was awarded in 2009 when he joined RBS."

Sir Philip is thought to have told the bank's remuneration committee it would not be appropriate for him to take the shares to which he is entitled.

He was given the scheme when he was appointed at the 83%-state-owned bank as part of a three-year long-term incentive deal.

It is understood RBS were not due to offer Sir Philip the share bonus, which is based on a variety of factors, until next month.

But the chairman chose to waive the entitlement earlier.

Sir Philip's decision is likely to pile more pressure on Mr Hester, who has faced calls from unions, politicians and the public to turn down his award of almost £1 million.

Prime Minister David Cameron insisted it was up to the chief executive to decide whether to give up his bonus.

"It's a matter for him," he said at Chequers.

"It's obviously his decision. My decision is to make sure the team at RBS get on with the job of turning the bank round and we made our views very clear on the bonus and that's why it was cut in half compared to last year."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, who is a former RBS economist, said: "This is a welcome development but these circumstances cannot be left to individual decisions. They must be a matter of public policy.

"On this matter the Westminster parties have shown themselves to be totally deficient."

He called for pay restraint to help sustain public services, adding: "How can that be maintained against the background of huge bonuses being paid in organisations which are still within the public sector? This blatant inequality thus threatens economic recovery.

"Both the coalition government and the Labour party are equally culpable.

"Labour negotiated the very deal with Stephen Hester that they now complain about while the coalition parties huff and puff about shareholder democracy but stand by idly when they carry responsibility for the public shareholding.

"They also have the option of a further tax on bonuses but instead all the Tory rhetoric is on reducing the top rate of tax.

"Collectively the Westminster parties display the complete abdication of responsibility of political parties out of touch with the public of both Scotland and England."

PA

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