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Barclays and RBS pay more than 500 staff over one million pounds

The Barclays headquarters building is seen in the Canary Wharf business district of east London February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall
The Barclays headquarters building is seen in the Canary Wharf business district of east London February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall

By Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Barclays and RBS paid more than 500 staff over 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) in 2012, a year when both were embroiled in rate rigging and mis-selling scandals.

Both Barclays and RBS are paying out billions of pounds in compensation to customers mis-sold loan insurance and small firms sold complex interest rate hedging products and are under pressure to rein in executive pay and cut costs.

RBS, which is 82 percent owned by the UK taxpayer and was fined $450 million in February over the fixing of Libor interest rates, paid 95 staff more than a million pounds according to its annual report published on Friday.

One of its bankers earned more than 5 million pounds and 10 staff between 2.5 million pounds and 5 million pounds.

At Barclays, some 428 bankers earned one million pounds, though that was down from 473 in 2011, according to its annual report also released on Friday. Barclays said five staff were paid over 5 million pounds last year, down from 17 in 2011.

Lawmaker John Mann, part of the opposition Labour party, criticized the payouts.

"It's one rule for bankers and another rule for every other part of British industry. There will be a lot of angry small businessmen out there tonight," he said.

Finance Minister George Osborne said the disclosures were a positive development.

"This type of disclosure allows shareholders to properly hold institutions to account for how they pay their staff," he said. "This Government is committed to ensuring that the UK has the most transparent banking sector in the world."

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins got a package worth 2.6 million pounds including shares awarded under a long-term incentive plan.

Jenkins said last month he would forgo his bonus after a damaging year for the bank in which former CEO Bob Diamond and Barclays chairman were forced to quit.

Barclays revealed the pay bands for all its 145,000 staff, fulfilling a promise by new chairman David Walker to provide greater transparency on pay.

The chief executive of RBS, Stephen Hester, waived his bonus after the bank suffered a computer systems failure which caused disruption for millions of customers.

Hester's total package for the year was worth 3.27 million pounds, including basic salary, plus benefits and shares awarded under a long-term incentive plan.

Barclays' former head Diamond took home 17 million pounds in 2011 and was regularly slammed by politicians for the scale of his pay.

He quit in July and waived 20 million pounds of unvested bonuses when he left, and was paid 1.3 million pounds for 2012. He will receive a lump sum in July of about 2 million pounds for his salary, pension and benefits in the year since leaving.

His successor Jenkins, previously head of retail and business banking, last month said he would axe at least 3,700 jobs and prune the investment bank.

He has cut pay for investment bankers, halted speculative trading in agricultural commodities and closed a profitable tax advisory unit. He has also pledged higher dividends for investors.

Jenkins has said technology will also transform the bank, and recently told investors such innovations could see its workforce reduced by around a quarter to 100,000 in the long-term.

Barclays revealed the pay bands for all its 145,000 staff, fulfilling a promise by new chairman David Walker to provide greater transparency on pay.

The pay included salary, bonus and the value of long-term share awards.

The new management team has pledged to address cultural problems at Barclays after criticism it was too aggressive and took too much risk in the past, but has admitted rebuilding the bank and its reputation could take 5-10 years.

The bank paid out 1.85 billion pounds in bonuses for 2012, down 14 percent on the year.

It said it clawed back 300 million pounds of deferred bonuses and long-term awards to reflect the Libor scandal and other issues.

(Additional reporting by Matt Scuffham; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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