Minister's £100,000 'pension link' to RBS

MPs want to question Lord Myners over his director's pension from NatWest

Lord Myners, the minister at the heart of the row over the £703,000-a-year pension enjoyed by the former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) boss Sir Fred Goodwin, is drawing an annual pension of almost £100,000 from a company that is linked to a subsidiary of the troubled bank.

MPs on the Commons Treasury Select Committee want to question the City minister about his personal knowledge of the RBS pension scheme and his own pension from his time as a director of NatWest, which RBS bought in 2000.

The NatWest Group's annual report for 1999 shows that Lord Myners would be entitled to a £99,800-a-year-pension upon reaching 60 – his current age.

His allies said last night the pension was from the fund managers Gartmore, where Lord Myners worked for 16 years and was chief executive. NatWest bought Gartmore in 1996 but RBS sold it soon after it acquired NatWest.

Aides of the minister, who was heavily involved in the Government's decision to inject £33bn into RBS, insisted that there was no conflict of interest because his pension from Gartmore had "no link whatsoever" with his role in the bank rescue or the controversy over Sir Fred's pension.

His link with Gartmore – but not with NatWest – is mentioned in Lord Myners' entry in the House of Lords register of interests. It lists his "benefits consequent to past employment by NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd, Gartmore and Marks & Spencer" but does not disclose how much he receives.

The former chairman of the Low Pay Commission is an ally of Gordon Brown, who persuaded him to join his Government last October. He does not draw a ministerial salary.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, has agreed to be questioned by the Treasury Committee on 19 March as part of its investigation into the banking crisis. But Tory members of the committee suspect that Mr Darling is trying to shield Lord Myners. As well as wanting to ask him about his own links with NatWest, they intend to press him about what he knew about the controversial pension that was handed to Sir Fred, the former chief executive blamed for the virtual collapse of RBS.

Lord Myners insists he was not told the scale of Sir Fred's pension last October, when the RBS boss stood down as part of the Government's bailout, and did not approve the payment. But RBS claims it told Lord Myners that Sir Fred's pension pot was worth between £15m and £20m.

Treasury sources say that no decision has been made on whether Lord Myners will appear before the committee. A Treasury spokesman said last night: "It would not be appropriate for the Treasury to comment on a minister's personal financial interests."

Lord Myners lost his boardroom job at NatWest after the bank lost its fight to remain independent in 2000. Sir Fred was widely seen as the victor in a bidding war for NatWest and won promotion to the chief executive role.

When he was embroiled in negotiations with the Government over last autumn's bailout of RBS, he described his talks with Lord Myners as more like a "drive-by shooting".

After leaving NatWest, Lord Myners built a successful career for himself with a series of non-executive directorships. He stood down as the chairman of the Guardian Media Group to join the Government.

In an interview in January, he called on banking boards and shareholders to crack down on the reckless behaviour of those in management, saying that if people had committed crimes they should be prosecuted.

"I have met more masters of the universe than I would like to, people who were grossly over-rewarded and did not recognise that. Some of that is pretty unpalatable," he said.

"They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them. There is quite a lot of annoyance and much of that is justified. Let us be quite clear: there has been mismanagement of our banks."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf