Online blunder puts Hester’s bonus under threat again

Marc Sidwell
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As the computer meltdown at NatWest entered another week, pressure mounted yesterday to make senior management pay the price for the disruption.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott told Sky News that there was “no question that [RBS boss] Stephen Hester should not be eligible for a bonus after this fiasco.” Interviewed yesterday, Hester said management will face “proper accountability” for the crisis and that he had “no patience” for anyone in the group currently thinking about bonuses.

Hester already declined a £1m shares bonus at the start of the year. His hand was forced when a public campaign against his pay award as boss of the part-nationalised bank culminated in a Labour threat to force a non-binding Commons vote.

However, a limited fall in the share price of RBS yesterday, less than that of Lloyds Banking Group or Barclays, suggests that investors still see a limited financial downside to the firm from the outage, despite the disastrous damage to its reputation.