RBS' chief exec Ross McEwan just got awarded shares worth £1.2m in the loss-making bank

Hayley Kirton
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The London headquarters of the Royal Ban
The taxpayer-backed bank reported its ninth annual loss in a row last month (Source: Getty)

Royal Bank of Scotland's chief executive was awarded £1.2m worth of shares this afternoon, as benefits from the loss-making lender's long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) were paid out.

Ross McEwan, who took over at the helm of the taxpayer-backed bank in October 2013, was vested a total of 512,509 shares under the incentive scheme at £2.389 a pop, although 240,880 of these were withheld to satisfy tax requirements.

In total, RBS' directors were granted shares worth around £6m as existing rewards programmes came to fruition.

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The embattled lender also announced more details for a newer LTIP scheme, under which its top dogs will be eligible for shares totaling roughly £15.9m, provided they meet certain performance targets. The execs will have to wait until they can their hands on the stock, however – the shares will vest between 2020 and 2024.

Under the new scheme, McEwan's reward could be as high as £2.9m.

Less than a month ago, the bank announced it was in the red for the ninth year on the trot, revealing a attributable loss of just short of £7bn for 2016, after eyewatering restructuring costs and misconduct charges swiped a chunk out of its bottom line.

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Although McEwan has warned the market not to hold its breath for a profit this year, he has indicated he thinks his bank will return to the black in 2018.

The lender is also still 73 per cent owned by the taxpayer. In today's Budget, the government gave little promise as to when its remaining stake might be sold, simply saying it will "continue to seek opportunities for disposals, but the need to resolve legacy issues makes it uncertain as to when these will occur".

One particular issue looming over the bank is a potential mega fine from the US Department of Justice for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities. Some estimates warns this penalty could cost RBS as much as $12bn (£9.9bn).

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