In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Hampton pointed out that RBS' investment banking division has experienced a weaker performance in 2010 than last year and insisted that payouts would reflect the company's success.
"It would be strange if market forces did not play a part in reducing bonuses because this has been a weaker year for investment banking markets than last year," he explained. "Payouts should be lower than last year."
UK leader David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are believed to be eager to avoid the damaging public relations impact of big financial sector windfalls, but have stressed their government's commitment to retaining top banking talent.
Last week, newspaper reports suggested that RBS and rival bank HSBC have grown increasingly concerned at the introduction of regulations relating to bonuses.
By Gary Cooper