March 7, 2014 / 4:01 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-RBS hands shares worth up to $30.5 million to directors

* CEO McEwan granted share award worth up to 3 mln stg

* CEO’s share award vests in 2017

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland has handed shares worth up to 18.25 million pounds ($30.5 million) to directors under a long-term incentive plan, risking a political backlash.

The bank, which is heavily loss-making and 81 percent-owned by the British government, said the handout included shares worth up to 3 million pounds granted to Chief Executive Ross McEwan which he will not receive until 2017.

The awards, disclosed in a filing to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, are likely to prompt criticism after the bank reported an 8.2 billion pound ($13.7 billion) loss last month. That brought the total it has lost since it was bailed out in 2008 to 46 billion pounds - just above the amount taxpayers paid for its rescue during the 2008 financial crisis.

Labour lawmaker John Mann, who sits on parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, said last month that the bank was the “unacceptable face of British banking”.

RBS is paying bonuses of 576 million pounds for 2013, despite taxpayers sitting on a paper loss of 16 billion pounds.

McEwan, who waived his annual bonus for 2013 and 2014, has vowed to transform the bank’s image, describing it as “the least trusted company in the least trusted sector of the economy”.

Rival Barclays faced criticism on Wednesday when it said it had paid almost 500 staff more than 1 million pounds last year.

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