RBS logs huge loss, boss takes bonus
LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday posted its fifth straight annual loss for 2012, when it was hit by a string of scandals, but added that its boss would still take a deferred bonus.
Losses after tax ballooned to 5.97 billion pounds ($9.05 billion, 6.89 billion euros) last year, compared with a shortfall of 1.997 billion pounds in 2011, RBS revealed in a results statement.
The lender was hit hard last year by mis-selling compensation payouts, Libor rate-rigging fines and a vast accounting charge.
The Edinburgh-based bank on Thursday said it had set aside another 450 million pounds to cover compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance, and 650 million pounds for clients mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
The bank also took a huge accounting charge of 4.65 billion pounds against the improving value of the group’s own debt. That contrasted with a credit of 1.91 billion pounds in 2011.
RBS had already revealed earlier this month that it would pay fines totalling $612 million (453 million euros) to US and British regulators to settle allegations of Libor interest rate-rigging.
Despite the scandal-tainted year, chief executive Stephen Hester revealed he would still pick up the second tranche of his deferred bonus for 2010 next week.
When asked if he would be taking 780,000 pounds in RBS shares in March, Hester told the BBC: “Yes, I am. Other people decided to award it to me. As you know it’s the only bonus in four years I have taken.
“By the standards of other people doing this job that is something that the board clearly felt was merited”.
RBS also paid bonuses to other staff, despite public outcry after it became the third bank to admit its part in the Libor affair after Barclays and UBS.
The lender did however cut its bonus pool to 607 million, from 789 million pounds in 2011, after recouping cash to pay its recent fines to settle allegations of Libor rate-rigging.