Senior RBS bankers in line for multimillion-pound share award

Senior bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland are in line to share a multimillion-pound bonus windfall, in a move that risks stoking another pay row at the bailed-out bank in the wake of the £390m Libor fine, reports The Guardian.

The five staff in question are members of a core management team selected by Stephen Hester, the RBS chief executive, who is facing criticism for the £780,000 share award he is due to receive from his 2010 bonus next month.

The fresh round of share awards – which could be worth as much as £6m if they pay out in full – are the product of long-term incentive plans put in place in 2010 and which run for three years, ending on 14 May this year. The incentive plans are one of three components of pay for senior executives, on top of their salaries and annual bonus awards.

Decisions are yet to be made on the precise number of shares that will be released to members of Hester’s management committee and little information has been provided about the performance criteria attached to them.

The criteria attached to share awards made at the same time in 2010 to Hester and the RBS finance director, Bruce van Saun, indicate that they will miss out on share awards worth £3m and £1.8m respectively because the bank’s share price and financial performance have fallen short of the required levels.

If the bonuses to the five other RBS bankers were to pay out in full, the executive who runs the US arm of RBS, Ellen Alemany, could be in line for approximately £2.1m from the release of two awards of shares. Nathan Bostock, who runs the non-core assets of RBS, stands to receive shares worth £1.2m, while Paul Geddes, who now runs the Direct Line insurance subsidiary, could receive stock worth £800,000. Chris Sullivan, the head of business banking, would be awarded shares worth up to £900,000, and the senior banker Ron Teerlink would receive stock valued at £1m. According to disclosures on the London Stock Exchange, the shares will pay out against “financial and operational performance” and “effective” risk management. However, they are unlikely to pay out in full. The bank is clawing back bonuses amounting to £300m to pay the part of the £390m Libor fine that is payable to US regulators.

The bank’s chairman, Philip Hampton, has made clear that Hester’s annual bonus for 2010 will not be included in that clawback. Hester was handed £2m in shares in 2010 and part of that will pay out next month in shares worth £780,000.