RBS boss Ross McEwan to hand back £1m shares allowance

Ross McEwan
Image caption Ross McEwan was appointed in October 2013.

The chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to forgo a share award worth £1m.

In a statement, the lender said Ross McEwan did not want the allowance "to be a distraction from the task of building a great bank".

The "role based" incentive is used by major banks to sidestep EU rules that limit bankers' bonuses.

Mr McEwan's pay for 2015 is expected to top £2.7m - even after handing back the £1m share award.

RBS, which is 80% owned by the UK government, will release its annual results on Thursday.

In September, the bank reported a pre-tax profit of £3.9bn for the first nine months of 2014, and RBS shares have been recovering in recent weeks.

However, the bank, which was bailed out at the height of the financial crisis, has undergone severe restructuring in recent years and has been plagued by a series of regulatory fines.

Last year, Mr McEwan warned that RBS had a "long list of conduct and litigation issues to deal with" and said branch closures were "inevitable".

On Wednesday, RBS said it had suspended another two employees as part of an investigation by the bank into foreign exchange market rigging.

RBS was one of six banks fined a combined $4.3bn (£2.6bn) last month for failing to stop foreign exchange market manipulation.

In February last year, the lender reported a pre-tax loss for 2013 of £8.2bn - its biggest annual loss since being rescued by the UK government.

However RBS's shares, which fell to 326.6p after the 2013 results, have rebounded above 400p in recent days - moving closer to the the 500p average paid for them by the UK in 2008.

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