LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - John Hourican, the investment banking boss of Britain's state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland , has pocketed 4.76 million pounds ($7.60 million) after exercising lucrative share options.
Bankers' pay remains a sore topic for many Britons, who are angry at the fact that a sector bailed out with taxpayers' money continues to pay out millions, while others face unemployment or sub-inflation pay rises in a weakening economy.
RBS, which is 82 percent-owned by the government after a state bailout during the 2008 credit crisis, said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that Hourican had sold 17.6 million shares at a price of around 27 pence per share.
The loss-making British bank said in its annual report last month that Hourican, who heads its GBM (Global Banking & Markets) division which has had to slash thousands of jobs, got total pay of around 7.5 million pounds last year.
RBS has cut around 34,000 jobs since the 2008 crisis, and its GBM division has sold off or shut down much of its equities operations in order to focus more on its stronger fixed income and foreign exchange businesses.
Earlier this year, RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester and Chairman Philip Hampton had to give up their bonuses following a public outcry over the planned payments.
RBS needed a 45 billion pound bailout in 2008 after the credit crisis and its role in the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN AMRO in 2007 pushed it close to collapse.