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Snouts in the trough

BONUSES paid out to financial sector workers since the start of the 2007 crisis are likely to break through the £100 billion barrier this year, campaigners said today. The revised total from the Robin Hood Tax campaign comes as the big banks gear up to report their 2014 full-year results, triggering fresh bonus payouts and stoking public anger. Today’s report is based on analysis of Office for National Statistics data which shows that bonuses paid out in the financial sector – including insurers – since the start of the crisis in October 2007 have already reached £91bn. By the end of the 2014-15 financial year, this figure is likely to have surpassed the £100bn mark, the campaign noted.

The Golden Parachute

After five years as boss of Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester has announced plans to step down. Hester will leave later this year and will receive 12 months' pay and benefits worth £1.6 million and the potential for a £4 million shares windfall from a long-term incentive scheme.

Bank staff union Unite’s national officer Dominic said “With over 30,000 job losses over the last five years and major stress for RBS staff there is likely to be a lot of anger over Stephen Hestor's tax-payer funded multi-million pound exit package.”

bankers cash in

Royal Bank of Scotland investment banking boss John Hourican pocketed £4.7 million yesterday as he exercised lucrative share options in the bank – after helping push through thousands of redundancies in the division last year.
Hourican’s sale of 17.6 million shares after exercising share options, at an average price of about 27p, comes after RBS’s global banking and markets division has made some 5,000 people redundant. This has been with the encouragement of the UK government as RBS has scaled back its investment banking activities to focus on UK lending. Recently, it emerged that Hourican received a total pay and awards package, including bonuses, of about £7.5m last year.

It came on the same day that Toby Strauss – insurance chief at Lloyds Banking Group, sold 1.2 million shares worth more than £380,000.

Weir the people

The board of Weir Group has rewarded chief executive Keith Cochrane with a near-£1 million bonus and double-digit pay rise.

Cochrane received a £625,000 salary and £975,000 bonus as part of a £1.62m package, up from £1.26m the previous year.

Finance director Jon Stanton will receive a 5 per cent rise to £420,000 from next month. For last year Stanton received a £392,500 salary and £400,000 bonus as part of an £806,957 package, up from £732,573.

Legal and commercial director Alan Mitchelson, who is standing down at the forthcoming AGM, received a £344,127 salary and £350,000 bonus as part of a £708,584 package, up from £665,887.