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
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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 - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power