RBS investors urged to vote down exec packages

Shareholder rights group ShareSoc has advised Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders to vote against the firm’s remuneration report at the bank’s AGM on April 25.

In a statement, individual shareholder society ShareSoc said it disapproves of CEO Ross McEwan’s pension package and that RBS chairman Howard Davies “sets a bad example to employees and other directors.”

Further, ShareSoc argued the pay of RBS non-executive directors (NEDs) “should be reducing, not increasing” and that NEDs “own few shares despite their high pay” and “they are not aligned with shareholders and do not act as if they are.”

The Investment Association (IA), the fund managers’ trade body whose 200 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets, has also raised concerns about the RBS executive packages.

The IA has released its Institutional Voter Information Service (IVIS) report on RBS which carries an “amber top” or warning over the bank’s remuneration report.

RBS’s pay plans would breach the association’s guidelines to bring pension payments for existing executives below 25%.

ShareSoc’s full statement read: “Many members have enquired about how they should vote their RBS shares.

“Our RBS AGM Vote recommendations are shown below …

“CEO has pension of 35% salary. HSBC have reduced to 10%, so should Ross McEwan, RBS CEO.

“There is lots of press about this issue. RBS should listen to what is being said and act.

“Male CEO has bigger pension allowance than female FD (35% v. 10%).

“Chairman has very low holding of shares and receives all of his £750,000 salary in cash.

“He has very little downside risk if the share price decreases.

“He should not be over-incentivised, but he should have much greater alignment with shareholders.

“He sets a bad example to employees and other directors.

“He currently holds only 80,000 shares worth about £200,000, which is far too little for a rich man paid £761,000 p.a.

“Since his appointment in July 2015 he has been paid nearly £3 million.

“The NEDs are incredibly well paid and have just had their remuneration increased.

“The bank is now a simpler, safer bank.

“RBS keep telling us this.

“Total Assets are now £690 bn compared to over £2 trillion at their peak.

“There are lots of NEDs.

“The pay of the NEDs should be reducing, not increasing.

“NEDs own few shares despite their high pay.

“They are not aligned with shareholders and do not act as if they are.”