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?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory