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RBS bankers suffering for the mistakes of 500 people

Claims of personal innocence may not wash with the general urge to demonize anyone who’s ever set foot in Bishopsgate, but an article in the Sunday Times illustrates the extent to which the mass of markets professionals at RBS are being made to suffer for the mistakes of the few.

According to the paper, just 500 people (around 2.5% of global banking and markets staff) were directly implicated in the banks’ 8bn of credit losses, and 400 of them have left already.

Assuming the remaining 97.5% were at least vaguely profitable, or at most not catastrophically loss making, it therefore looks a little unfortunate that their numbers are likely to be decimated under new plans to achieve cost savings of 1bn.

It’s equally unfortunate that the FX business, which The Times says is still profitable, is partaking, along with everyone else, of the much, much reduced 175m cash bonus pot.

Comments (10)

Comments
  1. This is all quite true. FX traders have done a remarkable job at RBS – however a lot of people responsible for the losses are still there, within Credit Markets at GBM. I won’t name names but just look at the securitisation business at RBS – see any name changes? Hardly any. The people who lost the most have even been promoted!

  2. I think 175k should be 175m

  3. People don’t get it!! The people responsible are the policymakers that kept interest rates so low for so long (and you Gordon)!! With so much money looking for that little return available, it was inevitable that risk taking would become excessive. All UK and US investment banks are practically insolvent. Yes, including Barclay’s. If RBS hadn’t bought ABN, it would simply have lasted for another year!!

  4. Sarah, this line of “it was only a few people, so the rest all deserve big bonuses” is spurious.

    The money that individuals make for a company is not *their* money; it is the bank’s income. And if the bank makes a large loss, and requires a state bail out, then the shareholders decide renumeration, not the individuals at the bank.

    The profit-making individuals are not any different from those that made the losses – they are the lucky ones at the casino of reckless lending.

  5. This is ridiculous. Of course anyone associated with RBS should get punished – so you’re saying 500 people caused the problems, the rest were profitable, the rest should be paid normally.. and how exactly do you cover the losses then? Its one company, if one company goes under its irrelevant that some weren’t responsible, they all suffer. Similarly during the good times people not associated with credit, prop at RBS got better bonuses from sharing. Its only fair, there’s no other solution.

  6. I’m not saying that they deserve bonuses when the rest of the organisation has taken a bath. I’m simply saying that it’s ‘unfortunate’ for those still at RBS that such a small proportion of staff have scuppered their chances of either keeping their jobs or receiving a bonus in the future.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
     
  7. Sarah……welcome to Capitalism.

  8. No sympathy for anyone not good enough to have gone to a decent bank in the first place.

  9. Let us not forget those who are quick to jump the stincking ship like Stephen Roughton-Smith’s illustrious CV: Managing Director Structure Finance at Moody’s Investor Services, Managing Director Asset Securitisation and Structured Capital Products at ABN Amro and now Deputy Chief Risk Director & Group Credit. Director at Lloyds TSB and still not on the FSA’s register as an Approved Person!

    Cannae Make-It Reply
     
  10. Wait just a minute…if the government owns RBS now…what happens to the other banks RBS has swallowed up over the years? Coutts for one. Does the taxpayer now own the Queen’s bankers?

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