Stephen Hester, Royal Bank Of Scotland CEO, Turns Down Bonus Amid …

February 2, 2012 by staff 

Stephen Hester, Royal Bank Of Scotland CEO, Turns Down Bonus Amid …, The chief executive of Britain’s state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland has turned down his hotly-disputed bonus of shares worth close to £1 million, RBS said Monday, amid a row over executive pay.

Stephen Hester was due to receive a £963,000 ($1.5 million, 1.15 million euro) bonus this year on top of his £1.2 million salary, the bank had said Thursday.

That announcement — amid government calls for pay restraint during the continuing economic gloom — sparked outrage from trade unions and the opposition Labour Party.

But the bank said Hester would not be taking the shares after all.

“I can confirm that he has decided not to accept the bonus,” an RBS spokesman told AFP.

The fact that the sum was less than half the £2 million Hester was given a year earlier had failed to dent the criticism.

British taxpayers own 82 percent of RBS since it was bailed out at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. Since then, it has slashed tens of thousands of jobs.

Hester’s move was welcomed by finance minister George Osborne.

“This is a sensible and welcome decision that enables Stephen Hester to focus on the very important job he has got to do, namely to get back billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that was put into RBS,” the chancellor said.

The announcement came after the opposition Labour Party said it planned to force a parliamentary vote calling for Hester to be stripped of the bonus, as it sought to heap pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government over the issue.

The government had been criticised for not stepping in, but ministers insisted it was a decision best left to Hester.

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