Earlier today the Royal Bank of Scotland reported a loss of £2 billion ($3.13 billion) for last year, which CEO Stephen Hester noted was in line with the estimates he projected in his five-year turnaround plan for the bank. To that end, Hester told reporters that contrary to popular belief, his team is working quite hard, "defusing the biggest-ever time bomb put in a banking balance sheet" and so, looking at it that way, "we are making progress." Progress which should be rewarded monetarily, which is why bonuses were in fact distributed this year, to the ire of the many, many critics giving Hester guff for keeping his people moderately happy or at least not homicidal. Having said that, those thinking the firm has the money to not only pay bonuses but raise base pay *and* bring in dancing chickens should think again.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group will freeze the pay of its 10,000 highest-earning employees, bank Chairman Sir Philip Hampton said Thursday. The decision comes as the bank looks to defuse public and government anger over banker pay. On Thursday, the bank announced it would pay nearly £1 billion ($1.57 billion) in variable remuneration for its staff. However, the bank said it lowered bonus pay to its highest-earning investment bank employees by nearly 60 percent, a move that was praised by the UK chancellor of the exchequer.