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RBS share price: Bailed-out lender to pay £335 million in bonuses

Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will hand out a £335 million bonus pot to staff this week, Sky News has reported. The move will come with the lender, still majority owned by the UK government, expected to have made a second consecutive annual profit since its taxpayer-funded rescue.

RBS’ share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having inched 0.38 percent to 238.20p as of 08:59 GMT. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having jumped 0.97 percent to 7,139.76 points so far this morning. The group’s shares have lost more than 13 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.6 percent rise in the Footsie.

RBS to hand out bonuses

Sky News reported over the weekend that RBS’ board and UK Government Investments, the body which manages the taxpayer’s 62.4-percent stake in the lender, had agreed on a £335-million bonus pool for the bank’s staff. The payouts will be disclosed alongside the lender’s full-year results this Friday.

Sources, however, told the newswire this weekend that senior staff in RBS’ investment bank – recently renamed NatWest‎ Markets as part of the UK’s new ring-fencing rules – had expressed dissatisfaction with bonus awards for 2018.

Full-year profit expected

Sky News reports that analysts have forecast a significant improvement on RBS’ 2017 operating profit of £2.2 billion and attributable profit of £752 million. Insiders, however, indicated to the newswire that the bank’s bonus pool will be marginally lower than the £342 million awarded last year for 2017.

The news comes after earlier this month, shareholders in the bailed-out lender okayed a plan allowing the bank to start buying back shares from the UK government.

As of 09:16 GMT, Monday, 11 February, Royal Bank of Scotland Group share price is 238.20p.

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