London: Even as the British economy continues to reel under financial turmoil, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) is planning to hand out bonuses of up to £5 million (around Rs38 crore) to its employees, acording to a news report.
“The average employee in its high-risk investment banking arm is likely to take home £240,000, with the top 20 staff in line for payments of between £1 million and £5 million, respectively,” The Sunday Times reported.
The report said the bank plans the payout from its total pay and bonus reserve of £4 billion. “The payouts by the investment banking division would top the deals awarded at the peak of the financial boom in 2007 and are 66% higher than those paid last year,” it said.
In October 2008, the UK treasury rescued the ailing bank with an initial injection of £20 billion paid out of taxpayer money. Taxpayers now hold a 70% stake in the bank.
“Any suggestion of bumper bonuses will put RBS on a collision course with UK Financial Investments, which oversees taxpayers’ investments in banks. It would have to approve the payments,” the daily added. Earlier this year, RBS had drawn flak over its plans to pay around £1 billion in bonuses to its staff, just weeks after it was forced to go cap in hand to the government. The bank has also been in a storm for paying a pension of £700,000 a year to former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin.