Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, commenting on the announcement tonight that the chief executive of RBS will receive a bonus worth £963,000, said:
“We now know that ministerial claims that the RBS board is contractually bound for years over bonuses were false. The board decides bonuses on an annual basis - and the biggest shareholder at the bank is the Government.
“Nobody doubts that Stephen Hester has done some important things at RBS, but what this award shows is David Cameron’s promises about reining-in excessive bonuses at state-owned banks or using shareholder power have proved to be utterly worthless.
“Indeed, anyone who thinks it is acceptable to award a bonus of almost £1 million on top of a basic salary of £1.2 million in these tough times is desperately out of touch with millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet.
“Instead of fiddling at the margins of this issue, David Cameron should take proper action on excessive executive pay as well as agree to Labour’s call for a new tax on bankers’ bonuses this year to fund 100,000 jobs for young people.”