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What RBS pays its top people

Robert Peston | 16:01 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

It is with no real enthusiasm that I write once again about bankers' pay. If you feel you've read this story before, well I would understand.

Two men are pictured in a branch of RBS

But there is a public interest in shining a light on the remuneration practices of Royal Bank of Scotland, since we as taxpayers rescued it from extinction in the autumn of 2008 and we own 83% of the bank.

The guys (mostly men) who run that bank work for us, in that sense.

So what have we learned from the publication of its annual report and accounts today?

Well a bank that made a loss for the year of £1.67bn in 2010 (way better than the £35bn it lost in 2008 but still a loss) paid a total of £375m to 323 so-called "code" staff, or around £1.2m on average to each of them.

A couple of further things need explaining.

First "code" staff are those executives who - under rules set by the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog - are perceived to do things that have a bearing on the risks that banks takes. They are executives with jobs that matter to the stability and health of a bank.

And second, some of those 323 earned more than £1m, and the majority earned less: £1.2m is just the average.

According to the bank, there are something over 100 RBS employees in total who made more than £1m last year. Which, on the basis of the average figure of £1.2m for code staff, implies that most of the higher paid individuals pocketed well over £1m.

What's more, there are other RBS employees, who aren't code staff - some traders for example - who earn even more than top-paid code staff (hope you're still with me).

Anyway, for what's it worth, RBS's code staff earn less than Barclays' 231 code staff, whose average pay was £2.4m per head.

So presumably the Chancellor of the Exchequer will point to this disparity as proof that taxpayer-owned RBS is showing restraint.

You will have your own views on whether RBS is showing enough restraint.

RBS makes another disclosure of some interest, which is the pay of its five highest paid senior executives below board level (a disclosure it and the other big banks promised to make under the recent Project Merlin deal with government).

These five executives earned £5.95m, £5.93m, £3.36m, £3.24m and £2.62 respectively - massively less than their equivalents at Barclays (see my post on Barclays' pay).

But, again, this does not tell the whole story of what RBS pays.

There are other RBS staff, working in high-paying bits of its investment bank, who earned more than these five.

And, just to remind you, RBS's chief executive Stephen Hester earned £7.7m last year.

UPDATE 18:17

Earlier this week, the goverment received a report (from Will Hutton) urging that public and private sector organisations publish the ratio of their top people's pay to median or typical pay within the relevant organisaton. 

Now in the case of RBS, its chief executive's pay of £7.7m is equivalent to about 233 times typical pay in finance, compared with other FTSE100 bosses who on average earn 120 times typical pay.

As for for top civil servants, well they tend to earn around £160,000 a year, around 6 times a typical public official's salary.

Or to put it another way, RBS's boss, Stephen Hester, seems to be handsomely paid for public sector or private sector.

Why? It's because he's a banker. 

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    They were paid it but did they earn it?

  • Comment number 2.

    Would the bank be better with fewer code staff paid rather more? Even for such a big organisation, it seems a lot of people in that position.

  • Comment number 3.

    There is a pubic interest in shining a light on the remuneration practices of the BBC as there is in shining the same light on any organisation supported by the tax payer.

    Robert as revealing pay is so important to you, perhaps you could remind all of us, how much we pay you!

  • Comment number 4.

    "And second, some of those 323 earned more than £1m"

    earn - verb
    1.to gain or get in return for one's labor or service: to earn one's living.
    NOPE
    2.to merit as compensation, as for service; deserve: to receive more than one has earned.
    NOPE
    3.to acquire through merit: to earn a reputation for honesty.
    NOPE

    Robert can you clarify what you mean by 'earn'?

    I think the phrase you're looking for is 'won' - not 'earnt' - for earn implies that something was given up in return for the monetary reward - not simply 'gained through speculation' - which is how this money is accumulated.

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done to the bankers - RBS, Barclays, they're all the same - they'll soon be able to retire and reinvent themselves in a less hated profession. Is there a profession anywhere in the world that rewards failure so spectacularly?

  • Comment number 6.

    It depends upon your perspective...

    I, as a taxpayer, want people who can perform the task of returning RBS to profitability (and quickly) so that we (the public) can get our money back via selling the shares in the company at a profit...

    If that means that they need to pay people the salaries estimated above, then to me that is a fair price.

  • Comment number 7.

    Robert, you've made the old typo mistake with public, para 2.

    should read public interest...

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    I stopped payments into my private pension scheme 18 months ago while going through a period of financial uncertainty. Now I find myself loathe to resume payments because I know that it's going to the same fund managers and bankers that I've come to despise, that they get their bonuses and fees before I am entitled to whatever they have left me. The realisation that they can lose the money I intended for my retirement with no consequences to themselves whatsoever has removed any enthusiasm I previously had for the system.

  • Comment number 10.

    See/ Listen to this link…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkstrexj3ds

    Just copy and paste it to your browser.

    That was in the USA....However back to RBS....

    These RBS bonuses to 300 EMPLOYEES are the equivalent to the salary of 10000 (YES...TEN THOUSAND !) teachers assuming a teacher earns around £30K p.a.

    Now the tongue in cheek bit.....

    It can't be right this....surely one RBS EMPLOYEE is worth at least 1000 teachers....after all in Wall Street, there are people whose bonuses far exceed even the equivalant of 10,000 teachers...I've even heard that one of the biggest bonuses in Wall Street far exceeded the equivalent to 30,000 teachers at least....

    We should have a bonus structure which gives teacher number equivalent...(TEQs)...

    Then this would show how unfair our system is compared to that of Wall Street...

    What do you think MR. CAMERON (a public service employee).....you poor soul, as your TEQ is only about 10...Perhaps you get by only because of private income.?...Why don't you get a job in the City....

    It's nae fair is it.??


    The debate about these bonuses goes along the following lines...

    If a trader or dealer makes say £30M for the Bank in a year then it's ok to give him a fair share...say £1M
    BUT if a trader maked a loss of £30M for the bank then who takes the hit.?...Well would you like to know it's not the trader but the Bank or the shareholders...That's you and me.
    So to put it simply these RBS EMPLOYEES are very priveleged people indeed...they are on a high wage and a no lose situation...It's akin to walking into a casino and getting paid for this as well as getting a sack of cash to bet with...At the end of the casino betting session, you hand in the chips and any profit you make, you get a share...BUT if you loose the lot so what it hasn't cost you anything AND you still get your wages...

    Funny old World isn't it.?

  • Comment number 11.

    Freudian slip Robert?

  • Comment number 12.

    Assuming banker arguments then unfortunately as the taxpayer, compared to Barclays we have monkeys running RBS.

    Either that or they haven't been able to change jobs yet.

  • Comment number 13.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 14.

    ah yes they were paid an inordinate or obscene amount of money but did they earn it?

  • Comment number 15.

    RBS should be praised for pay restraint.

  • Comment number 16.

    No longer a need to pay the high salaries and bonuses since (thanks to the crisis in Tokyo) there is now a glut of bankers. supply and demand and all that...

  • Comment number 17.

    "But there is a pubic interest in shining a light on the remuneration practices of Royal Bank of Scotland, since we as taxpayers rescued it from extinction in the autumn of 2008 and we own 83% of the bank."

    - This isn't true Robert. Taxpayers didn't rescue it. You see it was actually the Government who represent all of the people and not just those that pay tax. You might also want to look into the Treasury's finances because you are implying that the Government spent the money it collected in tax on bank shares. Actually, the Government borrowed the money.

    When you say "we" own 83% of the bank, again this is misleading. Should taxpayers believe that they own 100% of every school and hospital and road etc.? Who cares about Inverness Junior School unless you live there. Can we (as taxpayers) decide to sell off these assets? Or is it just banks?


  • Comment number 18.

    Has Robert revealed his remuneration yet?

  • Comment number 19.

    "It is with no real enthusiasm that I write once again about bankers' pay"

    If you can't do your job with enthusiasm Robert stand aside and let some keen youngster have a go.

    In the meantime I suspect the general consensus is that stringing bankers up is too good for them, so I am not sure what purpose your continuing to bore yourself is serving.

    It ain't going to change anything that's for sure.

  • Comment number 20.

    4. At 16:26pm on 17th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    I think the phrase you're looking for is 'won' - not 'earnt' - for earn implies that something was given up in return for the monetary reward - not simply 'gained through speculation' - which is how this money is accumulated.

    - I agree 100%! There is no tax to pay on gambling winnings so if their compensation is classified as such, then there is no tax to pay. This is a wonderful idea! If implemented throughout the financial sector, London will once again be seen as a centre of world finance and will attract the finest minds from around the world! I'm sure we could rename a street in the City "Wall Street" to make the new occupants feel at home. Once again, wonderful idea.

    9. At 16:39pm on 17th Mar 2011, dungolfin wrote:

    I stopped payments into my private pension scheme 18 months ago while going through a period of financial uncertainty. Now I find myself loathe to resume payments because I know that it's going to the same fund managers and bankers that I've come to despise, that they get their bonuses and fees before I am entitled to whatever they have left me. The realisation that they can lose the money I intended for my retirement with no consequences to themselves whatsoever has removed any enthusiasm I previously had for the system.

    - Brilliant idea! Enjoy your old age in poverty!

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 22.

    To Dungolfin, comment #9.

    Open a SIPP then, so that you and you alone are responsible for the performance of your pension.

  • Comment number 23.

    Traders/ dealers are on a no-loss ticket....Getting a very good salary and gambling away on the stock market etc..and if they make a profit...Hey, the bigger the gamble the more potential bonuses ....
    BUT...if they lose loads of money, then the shareholders or us (me) takes the hit.
    I mean me because as a Tax payer, I feel that we are effectively shareholders of RBS.

    This priveleged group of people cannot fail to make loads of money....

    This is really scarey because all these traders will be furiously gambling away with our hard earned savings and taking all these bonuses and if things go wrong, WE (The Bank) will all lose out.

    The bigger the risk the more potential for profit and BONUSES, but if it all goes wrong so what...."We're in the Money"..."Loads of Money"..etc and who cares a
    s--t if we break the UK economy...

    Is that it.?

  • Comment number 24.

    3. At 16:25pm on 17th Mar 2011, Decentjohn wrote:

    "There is a pubic interest in shining a light on the remuneration practices of the BBC as there is in shining the same light on any organisation supported by the tax payer.

    Robert as revealing pay is so important to you, perhaps you could remind all of us, how much we pay you!"


    yeah, yeah - this one is almost as tired as the 'financial mess the last Government left us in'......

    I'm all for total exposure - all people revealling all their salaries - that will sort the wood from the chaff.

    I still don't expect Robert to have picked up a £7.7m bonus this year - no matter how good we think his blogs are!

    ...and Robert didn't make a loss for 2010 - did he?

    The desperation of bankers eh? - when all else fails sling mud around to cover your tracks......and if you don't own a TV and don't have a license then you're not paying ANYTHING towards Roberts wages.

    Surely it's your CHOICE to buy and watch a TV isn't it?

    Capitalists and their ideologies - all twisted up as they only think rules apply to 'others'.

  • Comment number 25.

    SPIVS and PINSTRIPES...great words which are far better than swearing, because these words paint a picture in one's mind of exactly where we are today with these banker bonuses.

    BUT what about a solution to this crazy situation...

    Like you, I can't see an answer to this proliferation of gambling in the City or Wall Street come to that...
    Is this what makes the World go round.?....No I think not...This is the cancer of GREED and it seems unstoppable...until the next great crash....

    Perhaps separation of these traders into a single entity or unit and insulation from the main day to day business of the main banks. After all what do you do with a cancer, but cut it out...

    Perhaps giving bank depositors the option of safe banking or higher risk banking with different levels of interest might be an answer. After all it must start with depositors money...Back to basics...If I bank my money, surely it must be safe.?

    With all this risk taking about, maybe that is why Gold is such a high value...because it is safe.?

    Somebody should start up a SAFE BANK...Imagine the possiblity of vast amounts being deposited there and where would that leave all these grand banks with this cancer of GREED. ...oops I forgot....we did had a safe bank...It was called the TSB (Trustee Savings Bank)....How on earth did that get knobbled, I wonder...was it a Government decision....

  • Comment number 26.

    Indeed we are a bit sick of the bankers. But what to do? I fear the hole we are in is too big. Mervyn King and even the Cabinet, meeting at Rolls Royce to show a belated concern with manufacturing, might have realised now that the banks and non-banks are a tail wagging the dog. The only chance I can see for the regulator to get a handle on the banks is to alter the market by rating their products, so that the banks need to seek that approval.

    The banks have trashed us and they just don't care. They have decoupled from the rest of the economy and society.

    We need to separate basic financial infrastructure from the banks, because we're now all too poor to rescue them again and even now the hole is already too big and the regulator too weak.

  • Comment number 27.

    6. At 16:31pm on 17th Mar 2011, jason wrote:

    "If that means that they need to pay people the salaries estimated above, then to me that is a fair price."

    ...but RBS made a LOSS, and have done every year under the stewardship of Hester

    Did that not come across your news feed? Maybe you've been cut off from reality a long time ago.

    WILL ALL THE RBS BANKERS ON THIS BLOG GET BACK TO WORK AND STOP TRYING TO JUSTIFY YOUR SALARIES.

    You work for the public sector now - no knocking off at 5pm like you used to!

  • Comment number 28.

    Disappointing to see Peston peddling this populist but misleading - and deliberately misleading - nonsense.

    "And, just to remind you, RBS's chief executive Stephen Hester earned £7.7m last year."

    Now anyone reading that is entitled to conclude that Hester received pay and/or benefits during 2010 of £7.7m.

    But that's just not true is it? The figure is an amalgamation of pay and benefits received plus bonus (all in shares, none of which vested in 2010 and none of which vest for some time) plus a long term incentive plan none of the benefits of which were received last year and none of which will be received for some years to come and only then if performance targets are met 100% or more, which is highly unlikely.

    So he did not "earn £7.7m last year" as claimed. Effectively, it’s a lie.

    We expect journalists to present facts accurately and not set out to deliberately mislead. I wonder how Peston would react if information about his personal affairs was deliberately distorted and then dished up in such a manner.

  • Comment number 29.

    Take a pig to a feeding trough, and it will feed.
    The pig is an animal and only doing what comes naturally. Take the trough away!

    http://www.onegoodcut.org/


  • Comment number 30.

    Again this is just another smack in the nether regions for us, the tax payers.....

    I appreciate that bankers are doing a job which is high pressured, etc but million pound salaries ????? It just dosnt comprehend to me ???!!!???

    Nurses\ambulance\hospital front line staff save lives every single minute of every single day, month in month out, year after year yet there under the cosh at the moment due to cuts and restructuring and yet we have the very bank that had to be bailed out by the tax payer, paying out extortionate salaries to trading staff......

    Am I missing something here or is this just plain madness ???

  • Comment number 31.

    To Jason, comment no. 22

    'Open a SIPP then, so that you and you alone are responsible for the performance of your pension.'

    Splendid idea, I couldn't really do any worse than the so called experts could I?

  • Comment number 32.

    And not one of them is involved in branch banking or lending to small and medium sized enterprises.

    All of them are in "Markets" - We need a different name for these people they work for Banks but that is all.

  • Comment number 33.

    What do the BBC pay their top people?

  • Comment number 34.

    "What RBS pays it's top people" is the title of RB's blog.

    Yes, indeed - more heart-breaking information for the UK tax-payers who bailed out these banks - who will not demonstrate on the streets about these endless and disgusting figures taken at their bail out expense because they are too busy hanging on to their jobs.

    What tax-payers will do, if not forced into unemployment; caused by the above, will leave just enough cash in banks to meet direct debits; freeze their pension contributions and become increasingly self-employed and opt out of the banking system and avoid 'investments or pensions' that break all the rules and dump the ordinary investor with no redress.

  • Comment number 35.

    5. At 16:29pm on 17th Mar 2011, dungolfin wrote:
    Well done to the bankers - RBS, Barclays, they're all the same - they'll soon be able to retire and reinvent themselves in a less hated profession. Is there a profession anywhere in the world that rewards failure so spectacularly?
    =========================================

    Playing footie for Arsenal FC?

  • Comment number 36.

    Looking at the posts, its the usual vitrolic rubbish. Once RBS is profitable then, the Government will sell it (at a profit) and pay back the borrowing bringing down the national debt or alternatively using it to fund other projects. If RBS had been able to pay higher bonuses, it might have made an even greater profit since it is having great difficultly in attracting anyone to to work for it. No one wants to work for a bank where you are physically attacked outside the offices by public vigilantes on a crusade fostered by the media. As for Japan, no the foreign nationals urgently leaving Tokyo are NOT out of work they will be working out of other offices. Please try and gain perspective here.. There are millions of people suffering and to be gleeful about banking staff being advised to leave their homes and friends and neighbours show's how insulated and bigotted this blog is. I doubt very much Robert that the public are interested in bonuses anymore. I think it is just a percentage of your bloggers who are and can churn out the same old, same old. For anyone here who knows or has friends and or family in Japan. I pray they are safe and well.

  • Comment number 37.

    Maybe the simple answer is to nationalise all the banks and amalgamate all the banks into one big bank such that there is one set of directors who are subject to a new legally binding code of conduct with major bonus payment restrictions and high jail time sentences for violations.

    The Bank of England then only has to monitor and regulate one bank, which hopefully would be a lot easier than the current situation.

    Keeping bankers in line should be easier to given that there would be a glut of unemployed bankers at managerial and directorial level who would be only too glad to get a job.Even if they went abroad, there would be no guarantee that they would get a job and even if they were better paid someone else would be paying the bill.

    Your typical counter staff would still be needed to operate all the branches and given that there would be no competition the one bank remaining could supply a better service to its customers including providing or retaining more branches in rural communities.

    The Bank of England could take over the role of recruiting and training new banking staff and in that way not only would they have lots of eyes and ears in the remaining national bank they could also remind any counter staff with ideas above their station that everybody is expendable as many innocent employees in other industries have found out as a consequence of the banking fiasco.

  • Comment number 38.

    Up until last year I had banked at Nat West for over 20yrs.
    The greed of the people at the top ensured I moved my bank account to a more "ethical bank". It is a decision I have rejoiced in whilst the snouts of my former bank are still in the trough!
    Stop complaining and deprive them of your business.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think the bankers deserve every penny!!!

    Rather like the guy who works in the Royal Mint and actually prints all the banknotes...

    If he asked for a percentage of "all the money he made this year" he should get it...

    After all what would we do without him? None of us would have any money...

    But... on second thoughts...

    Shouldn't we just laugh the guy out of town???

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't mind bankers getting paid for doing better than expected but they also get paid if the entire market goes up. For example when they are buying in a market which is rising they will get a big bonus. Even if they don't do as well the market average. So a tracker fund controled by a simple computer program could do better than them but they still get a bonus for it. Well as far as I'm concerned, they can have their cake and eat it for all I care.

  • Comment number 41.

    I suppose the all of the RBS code 323 employees had the good sense to double their pay by putting it all on Big Bucks at Cheltenham. 100% profit for the day at Evens.
    If not, or at least, if they didn't have a penny on, then they should be fired.

    Surely no self-respecting ''banker'' missed that opportunity.

  • Comment number 42.

    ~~17 Hendon's finest:

    ''The government who represents all of the people...''.

    Really.

  • Comment number 43.

    My local Halifax branch (owned by RBS) closed down last month and made its staff redundant. That branch was very convenient to me and was staffed by very nice people. It seems RBS therefore think more about their fat bonuses than its staff and service to customers. Therefore, in protest, I am closing my accounts with them and switching to another but more customer-focussed bank!

  • Comment number 44.

    The desperation of bankers eh? - when all else fails sling mud around to cover your tracks......and if you don't own a TV and don't have a license then you're not paying ANYTHING towards Roberts wages.

    Surely it's your CHOICE to buy and watch a TV isn't it?
    -------------------------------
    Logic fail. Robert does not say "rescued by the taxpayer and loss making" to justify the hunt for public disclosure of earnings, he says "publicly owned". And you will find that even if I don't care to watch the BBC and only watch Sky on my laptop, I still have to pay a license fee.
    So Robert, back to you, what did you earn(and since we have changed the definition of earn to include pension pots and shareholdings, what shares do you own) last year from the BBC and all the media appearances and book sales it brings with it?

  • Comment number 45.

    Why does everyone get so het up about bankers' pay and bonuses. In order to earn their remuneration they have to meet their targets; if they do they deserve them.

    It is so easy to take a pop at the bankers, and I'm not one. They are just people working in a business with their targets which when achieved get paid a bonus - fair enough. I'd like some of that too.

    The real problem people like Peston should be focused on is why, as a business, the banks are not lending in the markets. Is it because the banks are setting too high a charge, as we suspect, or is it because businesses are not looking for loans.

    I'm sad that someone as respected as Peston, who knows exactly how the banking industry works, is joining the bandwagon of bonus hatred rather than in investigating the banks a s a business.

  • Comment number 46.

    RBS operating loss: £399m. Payable to code staff: £375m. Dividend payable to shareholders: nil. Hmm.

  • Comment number 47.

    #13 Ha. Time for a 95% bonus tax. Surely if anything the fallout will have ruled out Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore as potential destinations by now.

  • Comment number 48.

    Robert,

    Enough on bankers pay. We know who they are and what they are and who defends them and why. The banks will start collapsing all over again as soon as inflation reaches a point where interest rates are raised.

    There will be new regulations and they will be enacted by the new leaders to limit the greed of the minority for the benefit of everybody.

    We all know who is and who is not happy to profit from misery and who is who is not in favour of supporting mass murderers if it is good for their pocket.

    Might i also suggest that the potential loss of the global energy plan for the next 50 years following Japan with the sudden further spike in fossil fuel prices might be worth blogging on. Everyone else is. So how many windmills will we need to build in place of the planned nuclear power plants that look like they might be scrapped. So much for Kyoto. Its strange isn't it that the terrible tragedy unfolding in Japan should occur in the country where Kyoto occured. Coincidence of course. Our energy situation just became much worse. So now a man made disaster Kyoto is being exposed by a natural disaster.

    Really enough about bankers pay.

    26th March - 9 days.

    Anyway seeing as the official lent drinking restrictions have now been lifted i'm off to do a bit of binge drinking with friends from Goldsmiths over in NW6.

    Happy St Pats Day to everyone.

  • Comment number 49.

    27. At 17:11pm on 17th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    6. At 16:31pm on 17th Mar 2011, jason wrote:

    "If that means that they need to pay people the salaries estimated above, then to me that is a fair price."
    ...but RBS made a LOSS, and have done every year under the stewardship of Hester
    Did that not come across your news feed? Maybe you've been cut off from reality a long time ago.
    WILL ALL THE RBS BANKERS ON THIS BLOG GET BACK TO WORK AND STOP TRYING TO JUSTIFY YOUR SALARIES.
    You work for the public sector now - no knocking off at 5pm like you used to!

    Firstly - I do not work for RBS, I actually work for an element of the public sector.
    Secondly - From my time working in the private sector & now public sector - I can tell you which element knock off at 5pm (mostly it is before 5pm too...and it is not the private one!). I have been the only one in my office since half past four...all others have worked their allocation of their 35-hour week and so have gone home. The phrase "work the hours, rather than work the work" is very apt.

    It made a loss due to the write-down on investments, operationally it made a profit (Please read the actual bank's report, not what journalists say in their blogs).
    If those investments now rise in value and the write-back those losses, then the bank(s) will start making/reporting rather large profits.

  • Comment number 50.

    RBS ‘code’ staff and others paid £ 1.2 million + on average.

    Shareholders paid zilch again !!! - there is something seriously wrong with the risk/reward balance here.

  • Comment number 51.

    Re RBS' and all other bankers' pay:
    Please stop saying that they 'earned' £x million; please say that they were paid.

  • Comment number 52.

    Evening Robert,
    ah yes, RBS paid the bonuses that they told the Government that they would!

    Now remind me Robert, when the Irish Banks tried to tell the Irish Government that they intended to pay bonuses this year, what happened next?

    Blame the politicians in your Government for permitting this abuse, not the companies who are forced to pay the going rate to retain key staff.

  • Comment number 53.

    I was wondering why posts are pre-moderated. Let's see if this sneaks in anyway...

    Presumably the fuss over the RBS execs salaries is because it is public money. So, if EVERYONE paid by public money should be scrutinised, then why don't I know what Peston's remuneration is? Or Paxman's or Humphrys or Dimbleby brothers' or Robinson's et al? Or their expenses?

    As usual, this is Peston & the BBC diverting attention away from themselves while helping themselves to a cut of the £3.5 billion. Well, I don't pay the TV tax and haven't done so for 14 years & counting. So, please carry on...

    Just remember this: You can fool ALL of the people SOME of the time and SOME of the people ALL of the time. But you cannot fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.

  • Comment number 54.

    It is not sad that the minority get all the perks and the majority have to suffer to allow these perks.

    What however is very sad:

    The apathy of the majority in not standing up
    Still banking with these parasitic amoeba
    Consecutive elected governments that are more concerned with wars than the well being of their own people
    Unions more intent on bring down a government then fighting the parasitic amoeba’s

    I think everyone should question their own role in this and the above and if one or more is you, then do something about it before you cannot!

    One man can make a difference

  • Comment number 55.

    ~39

    If oil workers used the same argument as bankers they too would be looking for £1million pound bonuses.
    Fuel tax alone raises as much as bankers contributions to the UK govt.Then you could add on company profits, employee wages etc etc.
    OK some oil is imported some oil is exported, but why is this country faced, or forced, to listen to the bankers bleatings when the oil industry seems to have an equally strong case pay themselves silly money.

  • Comment number 56.

    I couldn't help but notice yesterday, when Stephen Hester and Eric Daniels appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, that Margaret Hodge, Chairing the Committee, brought the subject of bonuses to a rather abrupt halt before Austin Mitchell MP and Stephen Hester came to blows.

    Mr Mitchell asked Hester if he was getting £7.7M because he had produced outstanding profits for the bank, or was he just a greedy banker? Mr Hester said his remuneration was in the hands of other people and he didn't decide what he got. At which point another MP pointed out he didn't have to accept his bonus. Remarkably, Stephen Hester replied, quite heatedly, the MP didn't have to accept her wages! Perhaps he thinks nurses or teachers shouldn't accept their wages either and obviously someone needs to explain to Mr Hester, the difference between a decent wage and an obscene bonus.

    Mr Mitchell also pointed out that as RBS belongs to the tax payer but no one had asked him if Mr Hester should get £7.7M. Apparently UKFI made this award on our behalf. Thanks guys - great job you're doing.

    You are wrong to think you are boring people with more articles about bankers bonuses Mr Peston - that is what the bankers would like you to think so the whole subject slips into the background again for another year. You should write more about it and we should see more bankers defending the position of receiving millions while the Country goes to the dogs. Perhaps you could interview some of them on the BBC and at prime time because I doubt many people see their sometimes outrageous performances on Parliament TV. Do you think that's a possibility?

    By the way, I note Eric had very little to say except that he agreed with Stephen.

  • Comment number 57.

    Robert - can we please stop using the somewhat euphemistic 'remuneration' when referring to Bankers pay? The word has connotations of some sort of recompense or reimbursement as a reward for effort and achievement.

    The only stakeholders who deserve remuneration in this context are of course the taxpayers who pay for bankers Ferrari's with their jobs. Could I suggest we instead use the terms 'winnings' or 'loot' to better reflect the true source of their cash?

  • Comment number 58.

    Is this another banker bashing post? Has Robert disclosed his pay yet?
    Can we also disclose the pay of the other senior executives of the industries that were involved in the financial crisis? e.g. the lawyers, accountants who audited the likes of Fannie May and Freddie Mac that gave credibiity to the AAA ratings, the estate agents who flogged overpriced houses, the man in the street who borrowed too much, the insurers who sold credit default swaps, the head of the BoE who claimed he didnt have a crystal ball but still left house price inflation out of his inflation measure, the chancellor of the exchequer (Gordon Brown) responsible for regulation or the head of the opposition and current PM who called him the great regulator and wanted to relax the rules on the city.
    If we are all honest with ourselves it wasnt just the bankers that caused the problems and it is naive and bigoted to believe that they did. Just remember, as everyone was going bust it was the bankers who didnt get paid back by the people who borrowed off them and therefore needed bailing out.
    If it is the politics of envy that we all simply blame the bankers then it is about time that the light is shone on other industries and that should start with Roberts disclosure.

  • Comment number 59.

    #27. writingsonthewall wrote:

    WILL ALL THE RBS BANKERS ON THIS BLOG GET BACK TO WORK...

    Says the banker who earns what many outside the City would consider a very good daily rate yet spends all day, every day, doing little but posting on this blog (albeit not quite as frequently since the mods imposed a minimum 5 minutes between posts).

  • Comment number 60.

    This all sounds like envy the bank needs to pay bonuses to remain competitive - Preston's comments as usual are headlining grabbing and unrealistic

  • Comment number 61.

    45. At 17:48pm on 17th Mar 2011, John Doyle wrote:
    Why does everyone get so het up about bankers' pay and bonuses. In order to earn their remuneration they have to meet their targets; if they do they deserve them.

    It is so easy to take a pop at the bankers, and I'm not one. They are just people working in a business with their targets which when achieved get paid a bonus - fair enough. I'd like some of that too.
    ===========================================

    Targets? You don't know what your talking about.

  • Comment number 62.

    if we 'own' the bank surely the government could usefully reform it by say ooh slashing overpaid staff instead of causing chaos in the NHS. I would challenge each of those bankers to question whether they are truely worth that.. and yes I know they have a right to expect remuneration comensurate with their expectations of the livelihoods they've grown used to but surely that is the challenge - can they abide to live in their skins? I resent my taxes paying them when they evidently haven't earnt it as the bank is still running at a loss. Time to balance the books in the old-fashioned manner, if you don't make a profit, you dont make a bonus. Simples.

  • Comment number 63.

    All bonus systems like expense sheet (fiddle Sheets) are open to abuse and always have been no matter where they are used.
    Now remuneration quantifiable as value for work and responsibility done and a profit sharing scheme, where work effort and acceptance of responsibility are rewarded across the workforce does produce results.
    Had the banking houses across the globe been using such a scheme there would have not been failures, within the United Kingdom, when Northern Rock failed it should have been allowed to fail then we would not have had the hand wringing and whinging currently pervading the media regarding the banking system being too big to fail.

  • Comment number 64.

    None of the Bankers should get a bonus until they make profit like self employed people. It is mad that business is run in this way.

  • Comment number 65.

    44. nit123esh

    So Robert, back to you, what did you earn(and since we have changed the definition of earn to include pension pots and shareholdings, what shares do you own) last year from the BBC and all the media appearances and book sales it brings with it?

    ---------------------------------------

    Last I heard, Robert Peston hadn't brought millions of people in this country to the verge of real financial hardship, nor had he damaged the economy for years to come by conducting his business in a reckless manner with utter disregard for the consequences they create for others.

  • Comment number 66.

    #43. Dave Clews wrote:

    My local Halifax branch (owned by RBS) closed down last month and made its staff redundant. That branch was very convenient to me and was staffed by very nice people. It seems RBS therefore think more about their fat bonuses than its staff and service to customers. Therefore, in protest, I am closing my accounts with them and switching to another but more customer-focussed bank!

    I hate to tell you this, but Halifax is not owned by RBS.

  • Comment number 67.

    I hope they manage to get by on such a pittance. Does this not undermine the bankers' argument that staff will flee in droves if they were paid less?

  • Comment number 68.

    Its no wonder people are still p.ssed off.The banking system is all but a fraudulent ponzi scheme,politicians,with greedy fingers in the MPs expenses pie,big business being let off with paying corporation tax,crony capitalism abound and bankers awarding themselves whatever they like.Britain might just see its own Tunnisian tipping moment.

  • Comment number 69.

    Parasitic, bloodsucking, pond-life

  • Comment number 70.

    Robert, Why will you not ask the question "What man is worth more than 1million a year for his Salary"?. Bankers are not footballers!!But in the last 6 or so years investment bankers have convinced the world they are invaluable!!.
    They are NOT. For less than this latest crop of bonuses ,for key employees, Mr Hester could train a completely new set of well paid,Bankers ,ready to work in "The New World"",they could bring New Deals,New Incentives to the Markets and start the world growing again.Then we would see who would leave his job unless he /she earns 2millionper year.
    Mr Hester dodged your question about his bonus,in your last interview with him. "HE SAID His bonus is not really his decision--its the share holders!!,he still took it--losses and all.!!
    Well the HR committee has to start showing ,that somewhere in the bank ,IT "Understands the value of money"

  • Comment number 71.

    Recommend, and can't find a single reason to disagree, with:
    Post 65 @ 18:22pm on 17 March 2011 - 'dungolfin'.

  • Comment number 72.

    As one of the many 'backroomers' at RBS who will be made redundant in 2012 (job being moved to India), who took a pay cut and received no pay increase this year, I find it a little galling that these large salaries are being paid on the back of my sacrifice.

    It seems that the greedy stay greedy no matter what everyone else's lot may be.

    It was interesting to note in the Annual Report, RBS crowing that its employee feedback survey had been filled in by 81% of staff on questions concerning management performance. What they don't say is that they won't publish the results internally.

    I expect they'd make more enlightening reading than today's report.

  • Comment number 73.

    A consultant at a hospital undertaking life and death operations earns around £100K, has to have completed a medical degree, several years hospital work, huge hours on low pay prior to attaining their professional position etc. Bankers earn 10 times this. Fair, I think not, they can't fail because any money invested makes money for those managing it. They get massive bonuses for risky products that we as tax payers then pay for through our bail outs. I'm not in the health service, just used consultants as an example. I've lost £200,000 in private pension investments thanks to the "professionals" in the financial services and I am sick and tired of them making fat livings out of honest hardworking citizens. It time for a reality check. Don't pay the bonuses,just the salaries that virtually all the rest of us earn. If the don't like it let them resign and go elsewhere and let some other mugs pay them for nothing of any real value. There are plenty of gifted and experienced graduates just waiting to take their places.

  • Comment number 74.

    What are the banks worth to the UK? I don't mean money transmission, saving or mortgages (who here uses them for anything else?) Or even for SME working capital and the odd structured loan. If the balance of benefit is to us then let us encourage them to reform, forcably if necessary....and hair shirts all round. If not let us ask them to leave. One of them is run by an American citizen and another is really based in Hong Kong. Maybe they could move to the Isle of Man or somewhere. Two other are nationalised and can be sold to whoever wants them but not us.

    At a time when the government want to disrupt our successful education industry ( a major service exporter ...it sells to non nationals) because we don't like foreigners surely the same principle apply to the banks... we don't like them so get shot of them.

    Of course it would affect the economy of London but who cares?

    But what would Robert have to write about?


  • Comment number 75.

    I was getting deeply involved with local politics until what I saw and experienced at a count.

    A young man (parties not applicable) eventually beat a long standing councillor by 2 votes. Instead of this long serving councillor and his supporters accepting defeat graciously or at least arguing the political toss, they not only verbally attacked the young man they also turned on his girlfriend. Personally if they had call my girlfriend/wife a slapper and a prostitute I’d have hit them – the police had to break up the ofray!

    Why am I saying this? Because if they can not win the argument the parasitic amoeba’s only recourse is to attack the person because they think that this wins the argument. NOTE TO Dungolfin and nit123esh (PS. dung is ….. and Nit is an imbecile so you may want to change your acronyms)


  • Comment number 76.

    I know I should care about pay at RBS, but I just cant manage to, got to leave the bank to sort itself out I suppose, as it appears to be doing.

    So unfortunately this article is lost on me, I'd be interested on your thoughts Robert about overseas students.

    I've heard that they bring £40 billion to the balance of payments every year, but what does skilling the workforces of other, less highly paid countries, to our level do to our balance of payments and exports?

    Wondering if maybe the ConDems are right on this one.

  • Comment number 77.

    The employees have hi-jacked these companies - simple as that.

  • Comment number 78.

    Like Robert, I think I have reached the end of my enthusiasm about this topic. Yes it is a disgrace at how the financial services sector has treated the general tax-paying public in general but at the same time, we need to realise that as human beings we don't care about anything until the time it goes horribly wrong.

    Were we complaining when things in the banking sector were going well? Probably not.

    In fact people were taking mortgages and loans that they couldn't afford when they were being handed out freely.

    Had it not been for the financial services sector, millions of people wouldn't have lived the standard of life they have been living with the ease of getting credit.

    So yes, I for one would not care one bit if I didn't read another report or blog from Mr Peston on this topic.

  • Comment number 79.

    43. At 17:47pm on 17th Mar 2011, Dave Clews wrote:
    My local Halifax branch (owned by RBS) closed down last month and made its staff redundant.
    =======================
    I think you will find that Halifax belongs to Lloyds (after Gordon Brown twisted their arm).

  • Comment number 80.

    43. At 17:47pm on 17th Mar 2011, Dave Clews wrote:
    My local Halifax branch (owned by RBS) closed down last month and made its staff redundant. That branch was very convenient to me and was staffed by very nice people. It seems RBS therefore think more about their fat bonuses than its staff and service to customers. Therefore, in protest, I am closing my accounts with them and switching to another but more customer-focussed bank!

    Hello Dave
    I hope you haven't chosen Lloyds TSB as your new bank, as it's actually them who own Halifax and have closed down your branch.
    As an RBS employee (no I haven't earned over £1m ... in my 40+ year career) I have no argument with many of the criticisms on here, but please don't blame us for other people's misdeeds too.

  • Comment number 81.

    I would really be interested in a comparison of earnings to tax paid. Just to confirm that we are not funding people who evade tax.

  • Comment number 82.

    If it's a "bonus" and the bank makes a loss then shouldn't that "bonus" be zero? If that means that highly qualified bankers up sticks and move to somewhere where they make a profit to regain their bonuses, then good riddance.

    If it's not a "bonus" then it's salary and the bank should announce it as salary (it may not be pensionaly salary - RBS have probably been stealing/closing their final salary scheme). Then we can all moan about whether someone is worth such a high salary when public sector workers are being made redundant and in my bit of the private sector I've not had a pay rise since 2002.

    What puzzles me is why someone needs that much money and what are they spending it on?

  • Comment number 83.

    We really have to grasp the nettle and introduce a National Maximum Income (set at 20 time National Minimum Wage)!

    We cannot waste so much pointless energy fretting about pay it is not productive, indeed it is a waste and dissipation of our energy.

    If you want to live in the UK then you can earn/receive up to £250,000 a year and no more, be you a footballer or banker. This is more than enough for anyone's needs - indeed five times the point at which you pay higher rate tax (approx).

  • Comment number 84.

    "45. At 17:48pm on 17th Mar 2011, John Doyle wrote:
    Why does everyone get so het up about bankers' pay and bonuses. In order to earn their remuneration they have to meet their targets; if they do they deserve them."

    In what world does anyone actually deserve a 1 million pound bonus for a year's work? Seriously, step back and consider this.

  • Comment number 85.

    Whilst I would prefer that the Government was getting payback from the investment in the failing banks sooner rather than later, there is another side to this discussion. Apart from the fact that the Government will claw back a reasonable proportion of the bonus payments in the form of tax, it also will mean that the people everyone treats as complete pariahs have disposible income burning a hole in their pockets.

    I wonder if any of the anti-bonus posters here will happily turn down supplying goods and services to the bankers and thereby putting their own employment at risk? People might begrudge bankers driving off the forecourt in the latest high performance Jaguar, but if you prevented that from happening what would you say to the workers and their families at Jaguar?

    As another example, the UK is a major European player in the production of luxury yachts, and employs tens of thousands of people in the supply chain. Who has the money to buy these yachts?

    Who has the money to pay for other craftsman built, rather than far eastern mass produced products, (e.g. the hand crafted shoe industry in Northampton vs dubious sweatshops possibly employing child labour) supporting the last vestiges of British manufacturing? It's people who have enough money to pay the prices to support British vs off shore cost bases that forms the basis of employment for many people in the UK.

    Just a thought.......

  • Comment number 86.

    I was fed up with the banker’s pay argument by the end of 2009 and by 2011 its so long in the tooth it has whiskers.

    Labour started the argument to defocus our attention away from their national debt and so many voters have swallowed it whole I am embarrassed to be a Brit.

    Bankers’ pay and bonuses are absolutely tiny compared to the debts run up by just the last Labour government, let alone successive governments since WW2, and it is just silly to waste time on the small when we have large problems to sort first.

    No, I am not a banker and I don't get a bonus but I can do simple arithmetic and compare many trillions of national debt with a few billions for bankers pay!

    So please Preston, enough with the mouse already - highlight the elephant…

  • Comment number 87.

    Oxford Concise

    earn -
    "obtain or be entitled to as reward of labour or merit" OR
    "bring in as income or interest"

    Presumably RBS are using the 2nd definition in this instance.

    Have they also published confirmation that 52% of said bonuses have gone to the tax man as tax/NI (assuming these geniuses already earn over £150k before bonus)? Oh and 11% employers NI too.

    Cos otherwise we'd have nothing to be grateful about.

  • Comment number 88.

    "What RBS pays it's top people" is RB's blog.

    It's heart breaking to see yet another disgusting and disgraceful report.

    The majority of 'average' people are feeling weary, impotent, powerless and very sad and let down by banks they bailed out - and government too.

    Most people are past anger - they feel too low and down trodden to care anymore.

  • Comment number 89.

    It is so sad that we live in a society where inequality is so prevalent. Many people work hard and struggle to pay their bills, and yet bankers and 'top' managers in the private and public sector earn far too much. They seem to be motivated by greed and appear to have little sense of social responsibility. Regrettably, this latest news from RBS simply confirms what was already obvious.

  • Comment number 90.

    81. At 18:55pm on 17th Mar 2011, deos wrote:

    I would really be interested in a comparison of earnings to tax paid. Just to confirm that we are not funding people who evade tax.

    Good grief you expect them to pay tax too on these paltry sums , how do you expect them to attract the talent if they also have to pay tax.

    After the exposure of just how much corporation tax Barclays paid which deflated the myth that they and others support the country, i really dont expect their contribution to be much.

    Everyone has to realise that all of the big banks are killing our economy not supporting it , and if you can move your money dealings elsewhere do it, there are other options than to bank with the parasites of this world.

    We have a Government that has no interest in pulling them into line, and they themselves are just going to year on year abuse their position.Nothing has changed since the crash just hot air being spouted.

  • Comment number 91.

    I really do think that bankers need to recognise that by paying themselves so well, they might just be making themselves targets should civil unrest break out in this country. They risk being perceived as overpaid fat cats ...... whereas those whose benefits are being cut, or who are being disqualified from this or that disability benefit, in a job marketplace hugely devoid of employment opportunities could become popularist martyrs to a cause of increasing disquiet with an 'establishment' both commercial and political.

    I mean as the Government is clearly not going to hand out lots of money to employers to create jobs and to pay their workers well, it is surely obvious that IDS's "Make Work Pay" can only really mean - Make Not Working Not Pay".

    The problem with that is there are many people who are - and even more will be soon - out of work due to no fault of their own. That is, not everyone on JobSeekers is some sort of useless scrounger, many of them are victims, in effect, of greedy over-risky bankers and the consequences and sequels of that group's selfish behaviours, as well as the government's reactions to those.

    In a world which is currently alive with civil disquiet, it can surely be only a matter of time before oppressed working classes, together with disenchanted middle classes who have lost jobs, affordable university education, investments, pensions, properties, etc., etc., take to the streets in one form or another.

    Perhaps some of Britain's comments about how others have dealt with civil unrest in other counties will yet come back to haunt us all.

  • Comment number 92.

    after seeing those poor people who have lost everything in japan...i hope those people in rbs can sleep at night, and they choke on their money.

  • Comment number 93.

    RBS made a loss

    How do you pay bonuses out of losses?

  • Comment number 94.

    As a Public Sector worker I can't get my head around why aren't treated the same as the rest of us.For god's sake ,why aren't they glad they've just got a job, let alone be obscenely paid for failure? I know at school we don't like to tell our kids they've failed, but to lose more than a billion pounds sterling in a year is catastrophic, even if it was less than in previous years.If they can sleep at night, while us at the bottom end are paying their bonuses, they've got to be some sort of person I wouldn't want to meet, let alone give a job to.They must be so heartless even the SS would class them as too cruel!

  • Comment number 95.

    Last I heard, Robert Peston hadn't brought millions of people in this country to the verge of real financial hardship, nor had he damaged the economy for years to come by conducting his business in a reckless manner with utter disregard for the consequences they create for others.
    ------------------------
    Another reading and comprehension failure. Nowhere does Robert talk about "bringing millions of people on the verge of real financial hardship" as a condition to disclosing public servants' pay. I find it saddening that not only are education standards dropping to the point where people can, it seems, no longer comprehend a simple piece of written English, but so many are actually allowing the blogger to get away with this blatant hypocrisy in his posts. As for financial hardship, the ones who are not suffering are the ones who did not buy Brown's "I've ended boom and bust, here, mortgage yourself to the hilt" policies. As much as RBS is to blame for its poor acquisition of ABN AMRO, not enough is being said about the regulators, the media's financial gurus, the government, the shadow cabinet or the people who were just as much involved in pulling the wool over their, and everyone else's eyes.

  • Comment number 96.

    This is sick, how anyone can be worth that figure i can not understand.
    It's just endless greed
    When will something be done about it, How much longer are we going to put up with this!!!!!!!
    Bankers,top Public servants,Fat cats and shareholders,Footballers,Crooked politicians.... if you took all their(or should I say OUR) money right now you would solve our economic crisis.

    Lets stop talking about it and do something about it!!

  • Comment number 97.

    It makes me laugh when RBS says the 'code' staff deserve their bonuses because of the risk factor they are under. I understand the word risk when talking about fire officers, police and military personnel but struggle when linking the word to bankers. I hope RBS doesn't try to link the word 'moral' to 'code' in future communiques about these staff members.

  • Comment number 98.

    If they are paid so much less than Barclays et al then they should all leave RBS and go and work elsewhere that's what we are told will happen if we crack down on pay. I notice however thay haven't! Well only one conclusion to learn from that call their bluff and cut their pay like others in the public sector, I mean those awful nurses and doctors who do such worthless and pointless work they don't deserve anything do they!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    Its our money to start with. Therefore people need to move their money away from banks paying the highest rewards to staff. If enough people did this the message would soon get home and behaviour would change. No banker is worth multi-million pay year on year.

  • Comment number 100.

    43 Dave Clews wrote

    My local Halifax branch (owned by RBS) closed down last month and made its staff redundant. That branch was very convenient to me and was staffed by very nice people. It seems RBS therefore think more about their fat bonuses than its staff and service to customers. Therefore, in protest, I am closing my accounts with them and switching to another but more customer-focussed bank!

    Ignorance is bliss, RBS does not and has never owned Halifax, Try Lloyds !

 

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