NatWest Group prepares to pay bonuses of around £200m

LaToya Harding
·2-min read
The logo of NatWest Bank, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group is seen outside a branch in Enfield, London Britain November 15, 2017. REUTERS/John Sibley
Taxpayer-backed NatWest has told Treasury ministers that it is looking to pay more than £200m in staff bonuses for last year. Photo: REUTERS/John Sibley

NatWest Group (NWG.L) is finalising plans to award around £200m ($274m) in bonuses for 2020, reports have revealed.

It comes as the UK’s largest banks, including Barclays (BARC.L) and HSBC (HSBA.L) are lining up their chief executives for six-figure payouts in the coming days.

According to Sky News, taxpayer-backed NatWest has told Treasury ministers that it is looking to pay more than £200m in staff bonuses for last year, which will be its smallest pool since the bailout of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) more than 12 years ago.

Citing people who have seen the proposals, the broadcaster said that the lender’s bonus pot for 2020 will be about a third lower than the £304m it awarded for 2019.

It will maintain a £2,000 cap on cash handouts - which has been set since the financial crisis, they added.

It is believed that Barclays is also finalising plans to hand out an annual bonus to boss Jes Stanley worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Barclays has its remuneration committee next week, however, one adviser told Sky that Stanley was likely to be awarded between £500,000 and £800,000 on top of his £2.3m in annual fixed pay.

HSBC Holdings also intends to award Noel Quinn, its group chief executive, an annual bonus for 2020, according to people close to the bank.

READ MORE: FTSE 100 dividends set to fall 20% in 2020

Last year, the UK's largest banks cancelled dividends, worth a total of more than £7bn, amid pressure from the Bank of England (BoE). Payouts were banned in March amid concerns that banks could run low of capital as the COVID-19 crisis battered the economy.

However in December, the BoE said that it had decided banks could resume dividends and other capital distributions after assessing the strength of the sector.

HSBC’s dividend increase is expected to come in at £3.3bn, a 30.4% increase as a percentage of the FTSE total.

According to online investment platform AJ Bell (AJB.L), blue-chip dividends are forecast to increase £10.9bn to £70.8bn next year.

Each quarter AJ Bell takes the forecasts for the FTSE 100 companies from all the leading city analysts and aggregates them to provide the dividend outlook for each company.

NatWest and HSBC declined to comment to Yahoo Finance on Saturday. Yahoo Finance also reached out to Barclays for comment.

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