The British public was so outraged that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was giving a £1 million bonus to the chief executive, their furor forced him to decline it. RBS had been propped up by billions of pounds of public money. Stephen Hester, the CEO who decided not to take the bonus money, receives £1.2 million in salary.
RBS is in the process of laying off 3,500 employees.
“Although the Government owns 83 per cent of RBS, it remains a public company run by an independent board of directors,” explained James Kirkup in The Guardian. “Mr Hester’s decision came hours after it was announced that Labour planned to trigger a vote in the (House of) Commons, offering MPs the chance to vote to condemn the bonus award.”
Mr. Hester was not responsible for the bank’s downfall and assumed the reins in 2008. Nonetheless, Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat peer, told The Guardian. “I’m glad that eventually Stephen Hester has seen sense and seen the outrage of most people in this country.”