MEET the new boss – same as the old boss, the Royal Bank of Scotland said today.
As the bank outlined a package worth £9.6m over three years for chief executive Stephen Hester, analysts said the deal could be a serious obstacle to the public's determination not to get fooled again.
The package is made up of £1.2m in annual pay, up to £2m in bonuses, and up to £6.4m in long-term incentives linked to share performance which in turn is based mainly on luck.
Chancellor Alistair Darling, who approved the deal, insisted the best way to end the culture of greed which brought the UK's financial industry to its knees was to pay someone £3.2 million a year to go to a lot of meetings.
He added: "To these guys that kind of money is distinctly average. Don't get me wrong, to someone like you it's huge, – it's instant retirement, piss-your-pants, settle-scores-with-those-who-have-wronged-me kind of money – but remember, you're nothing."
Bill McKay, banking analyst at Porter, Pinkney and Turner, said: "Stephen Hester has a proven track record of going to meetings and getting paid an awful lot of money while the businesses he is in charge of fail or succeed based largely on events outwith his control."
Meanwhile an RBS spokesman insisted: "I'll tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smile and grin at the change all around me, pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I'll get on my knees and pray."
He added: "And no, actually, we don't get fooled again. Mainly because this time it's performance related and the bonuses are paid in the form of non-cash incentives. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"