RBS CEO 'to donate almost S$1m of pay to charity' as bank reports S$3.9b loss

A man walking past a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in central London.
A man walking past a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in central London.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Mr Ross McEwan, chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), will give away about £500,000 ($978,500) of his pay to charity, a person briefed on the decision said, as his bank reported its eighth straight full-year loss of £1.97 billion (S$3.86 billion).

The amount Mr McEwan will reportedly donate to charity represents half of his role-based allowance, which is separate from his £1-million salary and any deferred-stock bonuses, said the person.

Executive pay and bonuses at RBS have sparked political outcry in recent years, with the UK government still holding a stake in the lender, almost eight years after the most expensive bank bailout at the time.

RBS' loss for 2015 was 43 per cent smaller than its loss of £3.47 billion for the previous year.

The bank, which has not turned a profit since its 2008 government bailout during the financial crisis, said its restructuring costs reached £2.9 billion.

RBS's conduct and litigation costs totalled £3.6 billion.

Once, briefly, the world's largest bank by assets, RBS has spent the eight years since its £45-billion bailout cutting costs and reorganising its businesses.

Under Mr McEwan's leadership, RBS has also been reducing its international businesses, abandoning the global ambitions it once held.

RBS is still 73 per cent owned by the British government.