RBS - 83 per cent of which is owned by the British taxpayer - confirmed yesterday (March 8th 2011) that it handed out Â£28 million ($45.2 million) in performance-related remuneration for 2010, although much of that was tied up in shares.
"These awards follow exhaustive consultation with our shareholders and we believe they appropriately balance demonstrating restraint while remaining fully supportive of our leadership through the RBS turnaround plan" a spokesman commented.
However, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott rejected the lender's protestations, telling the Guardian that RBS had displayed "precious little sign" of reining in its excesses.
Last week, Lib Dem MP Steven Williams urged the government to consider giving away shares in RBS and state-owned rival Lloyds to members of the UK general public.
By Tony Aynsley