LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s banks faced another backlash over excessive pay after Barclays boss Bob Diamond took home pay, shares and benefits worth 17 million pounds last year and taxpayer-owned RBS paid millions to a top executive.
Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of investment banking John Hourican will receive almost 7.5 million pounds in pay, bonus and shares for last year, even though the bank is 82 percent owned by taxpayers and has promised a clamp-down.
Hourican will receive 15.9 million shares, worth 4.2 million pounds, next month under a three-year award that ran to 2011. He was also paid a 751,000 pound salary and a 2.5 million pound bonus for last year.
Another RBS executive, Ellen Alemany — head of its U.S. business Citizens — could get 4.7 million pounds in pay, bonus and long-term award for 2011.
Barclays CEO Diamond was paid 6.3 million pounds for last year, down from 9 million in 2010, but past awards that had been deferred swelled his payout.
The awards come when banks are under fire for failing to show restraint on pay for executives and top staff when thousands of jobs are being cut and wages slashed or put on hold after a recession many blamed on the banks.
Diamond, the American son of two teachers, has long been one of the highest paid bankers in Europe and often been a lightning rod for criticism of the industry’s big pay days.
He was paid 1.35 million pounds salary and 2.7 million in bonus (in deferred shares) for 2011. He also received benefits worth 474,000 pounds, covering things like medical insurance, a chauffeur and tax advice, according to the bank’s annual report released on Friday.
The CEO, who took the reins at the start of 2011, also received shares worth 12.6 million pounds from past awards.
He could get an extra 2.25 million pounds of shares or far more if he hits targets in the next three years. Barclays also paid 5.7 million pounds in tax related to his move from New York back to London.
Two unnamed senior Barclays executives — almost certain to be Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci, the co-CEOs who took over the running of Barclays Capital since Diamond’s promotion — were paid 6.7 million pounds and 6.5 million last year.
Barclays said 238 of its senior management and top staff — dubbed “Code staff” who are involved in risk-taking decisions — were paid 357 million pounds for 2011, or an average of 1.5 million each.
RBS said its 386 Code staff were paid 317 million pounds, or an average of 820,000 pounds.
Both banks have faced headwinds and criticism this year.
Barclays may have avoided a state bailout, but its profits dipped 3 percent last year to 5.9 billion pounds and Diamond pushed back his key profitability target after missing the target badly last year.
The bank has also been slammed after the UK taxman told it to close two “aggressive tax avoidance schemes.”
Barclays also said in its annual report it may have to settle legal and regulatory action against it relating to a global investigation into possible manipulation of interbank lending rates.
RBS made a fourth consecutive annual loss last year, continues to slash the size of its investment bank, and has been rattled by increasing state interference.
All UK banks have also had to set aside hundreds of millions of pounds to compensate customers for mis-selling insurance products.
Lloyds, another state-backed bank, on Friday said it paid an executive 2.8 million pounds for 2011 and its CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio could receive almost 10 million shares under this year’s incentive plan.
RBS CEO Stephen Hester last year received a salary of 1.2 million pounds. He waived his bonus, but could receive 1.6 million pounds in the future under a long-term incentive award for 2011.
A UK Treasury spokesman said RBS’s bonus pool was 40 percent less than the year before and the increased disclosure was also welcome.
“The government has made clear that the priority at RBS is to get value for money for the taxpayer, while also being a backmarker on pay,” he said.
Additional reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Dan Lalor and Jane Merriman