Wednesday 4 May 2016 4:14 pm

RBS shareholders approve executive pay at annual meeting, joining Aviva and BAE Systems in waving through exec pay packages

Embattled Royal Bank of Scotland has been fighting to defend its management practises and executive pay this afternoon at its annual shareholder meeting (AGM) in Edinburgh.

The banks shareholders eventually voted overwhelmingly in favour of the bank's executive pay, with over 99 per cent approving the report. 

RBS boss Ross McEwan faced a barrage of questions from irate shareholders throughout the afternoon, ranging from branch closures to the handling of past scandals.

RBS is the latest company to face the ire of shareholders, though earlier today Aviva and BAE Systems both passed shareholder scrutiny. 

BAE shareholders voted with 94.9 per cent approval, while Aviva waved its executive pay package through with 97 per cent in favour.

Read more: Is this round two of shareholder spring?

Last month corporate governance experts Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) urged shareholders to vote against RBS's remuneration report today. 

PIRC said in its report:

While the disclosure level is in line with best practice, there are important concerns over the excessiveness of the remuneration arrangements for executive directors. There are also important concerns over the level of variable pay of the CEO which exceeds 200 per cent of salary and which comes in addition to the Fixed Share Allowance (worth 100 per cent of salary).

RBS has racked up eight successive years of net annual losses and it's share price shows little hope of returning to the 501p per share the government forked out for the bank in 2008.

[charts-share-price id="230"]

Last week the bank, which remains 73 per cent state owned, posted a loss of £968m for the first quarter, missing expectations and around double the £459m loss chalked up during the same period last year.

Read more: Sir Martin Sorrell defends £63m pay package amid fears of 2016 shareholder spring

The bank had the day before confirmed it will have to consider alternatives for its plan to offload challenger brand Williams & Glyn.

Along with its first quarter loss the bank announced that McEwan's total pay packed had doubled over the past year to almost £3.8m. He has opted to give away his £1m role-based allowance to charity.

Back in February RBS revealed the number of its employees taking home more than £1m per year has fallen to 121, down by 10. The bank's bonus pool has also been drained by 11 per cent to £373m.