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RBS hands out US$5.2m in 'role-based' pay awards

[LONDON] State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded shares worth more than 3.3 million pounds (S$7.2 million) to 10 executives under new "role-based"pay awards it brought in to avoid limits on annual bonuses.

Under new European Union rules, which applied to awards handed out from early 2015, bankers' bonuses can be no higher than fixed pay, or twice that level with shareholder approval.

The role-based allowances count as fixed pay but can be adjusted upwards or downwards.

Executive pay at RBS remains under heavy scrutiny after the government made a 1.1 billion-pound loss on its first sale of shares in the bank earlier in August, with more losses expected on later sales.

Senior RBS managers received their shares, awarded for the six months to the end of June, on Wednesday.

The biggest award, worth 500,000 pounds, was made to chief executive Ross McEwan. However, Mr McEwan said in February he did not intend to benefit from the scheme and would give the shares to charity.

McEwan also received shares worth 330,000 pounds from an award made to him in 2012 when he was recruited from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The joint heads of RBS's investment bank, Chris Marks and Mark Bailie, were awarded shares worth 484,000 pounds each. Finance director Ewen Stevenson received shares worth 400,000 pounds.