CAMERON URGES RBS TO SHOW ‘RESTRAINT’ OVER MORE BONUSES
David Cameron said the arrangements to hire Stephen Hester and pay him a bonus were put in place by the last Labour government
Prime Minister David Cameron has urged RBS to show “restraint” in the award of other bonuses for senior executives.
Although RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has waived his award of £963,000 in shares, senior colleagues are also in line for bonuses.
Mr Cameron told reporters at the EU summit there had to be a better link between pay and performance.
However, a Downing Street spokeswoman said the government would not block bonuses to other executives.
On Sunday, Mr Hester waived the 3.6 million shares package – his performance bonus for 2010 – after Labour MPs planned to force a Commons vote on the issue.
It came the day after it emerged that RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton had waived a shares-only bonus worth £1.4m.
Mr Cameron defended the government's role in the RBS bonus affair amid suggestions that it was Labour's threat of a Commons vote that forced Mr Hester's hand.
The prime minister said: “We made our views very clear… What needs to happen is a sense of restraint, and they have got to do a better job to demonstrate how pay is linked to performance.”
Mr Cameron said he had made his views known to RBS, but said “voluntary restraint” was needed.
Earlier in the day, a Downing Street spokeswoman told the BBC that there would be no compulsory veto of bonuses.
“We are not going to micro-manage bonuses… They [the bank] are doing a good job and making good progress,” she said.
She added it was absolutely essential that the RBS executive team was left in place to sort out its problems.