New RBS exec to get 917k golden hello

ROYAL Bank of Scotland&rsquo;s new head of its branch network will receive a &pound;917,000 &ldquo;golden hello&rdquo;, it emerged yesterday, throwing fuel on the debate over executive pay at taxpayer-controlled banks.<br /><br />Brian Hartzer joined the bank&rsquo;s management team this week from Australian bank ANZ, and is required only to remain at RBS for two years to receive a reward of 1.99m shares.<br /><br />The signing-on bonus is part of a larger share-based bonus package which could be worth &pound;2.2m, based on yesterday&rsquo;s closing price, should Hartzer meet performance targets.<br /><br />The news comes while fury still rages over RBS chief executive Stephen Hester&rsquo;s potential &pound;9.6m package, and could be seen as an about-turn on Hester&rsquo;s recent promises to bring rewards under control.<br /><br />But the bank said that the award to Hartzer was necessary to compensate bonuses he was forfeiting by leaving ANZ.<br /><br />Hartzer was one of two new executives names in a regulatory announcement to the London Stock Exchange last night. The second was ex-Santander executive Nathan Bostock, who stands to receive &pound;1.7m in bonus payments.<br /><br />Last night the bank stood by its determination to entice &ldquo;world class executives&rdquo; with competitive remuneration packages.<br /><br />&ldquo;The level of their pay is comparable to what they were paid previously or could get elsewhere,&rdquo; it said.<br /><br />&ldquo;There is no reward for failure and incentives are fundamentally driven by business performance. Executives&rsquo; interests are aligned with those of all our shareholders.&rdquo;