The board at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will be braced for a revolt over executive pay as losses at the taxpayer-owned bank show little sign of easing.
On Friday RBS reported a first-quarter pre-tax loss of £968m –more than double last year’s figure of £446m.
The loss reflects the impact of its £1.2bn payment last month to the Treasury to buy out a crucial part of its £45bn bailout when it was saved from collapse in 2008. This comes after the bank, which is 73 per cent owned by the taxpayer, racked up its eighth consecutive year of annual losses and delayed prospects of a dividend payout in February.
However, chief executive Ross McEwan saw his total annual pay package double to £3.8mn as it included long-term incentive payouts for the first time.
Earlier this month RBS warned of a greater-than-expected hit from plans to spin off its Williams & Glyn arm that could fetch as much as £1.5bn.
The group also said there was a “significant risk” that it would not meet the deadline to separate the 316-branch Williams & Glyn business by the end of 2017.
It is now looking at other ways to spin off the business, adding that the “overall financial impact on RBS is now likely to be significantly greater than previously estimated” due to complexities of separating the business.
The bank has also said it faced uncertainty over the scale of US misconduct charges still hanging over the lender.
Investors had hoped to see the bank pay its first dividend this year, but the bank said delays over the Williams & Glyn sale and its regulatory fines will mean that a shareholder payout is not expected until later in 2017.
All this has the potential for a fiery cocktail when management and investors gather at its annual meeting on Wednesday.