RBS BONUSES: How to reward failure and fraud with half a billion quid.

cableshiftitleTime for Cable to walk the walk

You may remember from previous Slogposts that last week, RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “It is important to note that the most serious allegation that has been made is that RBS conducted a ‘systematic’ effort to profit on the back of our customers when they were in financial distress. We do not believe that this is the case, but it has nonetheless done serious damage to RBS’s reputation. No evidence has been provided for that allegation to the bank.”

In fact a huge body of evidence has been produced. To take one of (literally) hundreds of RBS examples, in November last year the Chemist & Druggist reported how ‘Four more pharmacy owners have berated the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for its treatment of their businesses, after it allegedly undervalued pharmacies by as much as 66 per cent and created losses of up to £700,000’. This was the standard MO of Hester’s Horribles throughout the years of RBS embezzlement: undervalue an asset at the last moment, and then repossess it on the grounds of inability to pay the loan just granted.

But if you think that’s a case in a million I’ve alighted upon to suit my agenda, then try this one on for size: Bully-Banks was created in December 2011 by a small group of business owners in the UK each of whom had been mis-sold an IRSA, to co-ordinate complaints by the owners of small and medium sized business against the conduct of Banks when mis-selling Interest Rate Swap Agreements (“IRSAs”). As of the end of January 2013, Bully-Banks had over two thousand members. The members are the owners of over one thousand small and medium sized businesses in the UK all of which have been mis-sold an IRSA by their bank.

In a Slog investigation of the previous month, other examples were put forward. Note by the way that RBS made liberal use of super-injunctions to keep a lot of this out of the public eye. Also note that since that post, Bully-Banks has doubled in size.

But Ross McEwan says there is no evidence to support the allegations.  And so now comes the coup de grace from these crocodiles whose calumny and cash-obsessions are infinite. Insiders at the 81% State owned bank revealed over the weekend that it is to pay out a total of £500m in bonuses this year. During this year, the bank lost around £5.2 bn.

The Telegraph reports that ‘The pool would have been higher, but £300m was deducted to pay for fines related to the global Libor-rigging scandal.’ Oh I say, what deuced rotten luck.

So there we are, people:failure and fraud are the new honest success. Just ask Grant Shapps.

On second thoughts, don’t ask Grant Shapps anything – he’ll only lie to you. Instead, email the Business Minister Vince Cable and demand these bonuses be pulled….on behalf of the 80% of shareholders who do not think they are in any way deserved. His MP address is cablev@parliament.uk, where I suspect there is less chance of your outrage simply disappearing into Sir Humphrey’s pocket before it gets to Mr Livewire in his office at the Business Ministry.