RBS investors urged to block CEO Ross McEwan's 3.6 million pounds pay packet

FILE PHOTO: Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Investors in Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland have been urged to vote against the bank’s remuneration plans at next week’s annual general meeting, as pay for top bosses at major banks comes under fresh scrutiny.

Shareholder advisory group PIRC on Tuesday recommended shareholders block RBS’s remuneration report, describing chief executive Ross McEwan’s overall 3.6 million pound ($4.7 million) pay packet for 2018 as “excessive”.

PIRC said McEwan’s total variable pay- at 211 percent of salary- was too high, on top of his 1 million pound base pay. Rival investor advisors Glass Lewis and ISS have recommended shareholders vote in favor of the bank’s pay proposals.

PIRC added the ratio of chief executive to average employee pay at the firm was 46:1, which the advisory group deemed “unacceptable”.

Remuneration policies at rival FTSE 100 banks HSBC and StanChart have also been criticized by investors in recent weeks, with HSBC bowing to pressure ahead of its AGM to cut pension contributions for executives.

RBS was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise