The chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday described the pay of the bailed out bank's chief executive Stephen Hester as "modest", amid fresh scrutiny of bonuses in the wake of the £390m Libor fine.
Sir Philip Hampton said Hester – who can get up to £6m a year from bonuses on top of his £1.1m salary – was paid "well below the market rate of people working in banking" because his bonuses had not paid out in full. He was speaking during a lengthy session of the banking standards commission in Westminster, in which a senior RBS colleague admitted the bank had believed Libor rigging was "a mathematical impossibility".
Hampton, defending bonuses for Hester, conceded the chief executive had a "highly paid job" but that "his pay has been modest relatively". He had received just one bonus since joining in 2008, of £2m, which has yet to be paid out. Some £780,000 of that will pay out in shares next month.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all aspire to a "modest" salary of £1.1 million (and never mind the bonuses)? Even if we were totally unaware that our underlings were playing at naughty boys by rigging the Libor rates ...