RBS Boss Ross McEwan: We Are Least Trusted British Bank
RBS Boss Ross McEwan: We Are Least Trusted British BankReuters

The Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan said that the part-nationalised lender is the "least trusted bank, in the least trusted sector."

Speaking on a conference call, following RBS's 2013 financial results announcement, McEwan tried to defend over half a billion pounds being granted in bonuses despite the £8.2bn (€10bn, $13.7bn) loss for the year and pledged to change the group's culture and structure.

"RBS is too bureaucratic and this needs to change," said McEwan.

"It also needs to change in terms of costs. We have met with the UK Financial Investment (UKFI) and the regulators to establish a strategic review and we have been making really good progress."

RBS received a taxpayer funded £45bn bailout in 2008, which eventually led it to be 81% owned by the government, and has to get permission from the UKFI group in order to pay bonuses or make any changes to remuneration.

RBS granted staff £576m in bonuses for 2013 despite the part nationalised lender losing £8.2bn over the past year.

The bank revealed in the same breath that will cough up over half a billion pounds in extra pay rewards as well as try to cut operating costs by £5.3bn.

"I know it's a highly emotional issue... but I need to pay these people fairly in the market place to do the job," said Ross McEwan, CEO at RBS.

"We have been a back marker on pay but I have to make sure we are there or thereabouts."

2013 Results Summary

Pre-tax loss: £8.2bn

Regulatory and redress provisions: £3.8bn

Retail & Commercial: Down 4% to £4bn

Markets division: Down 58% to £638m

Non-Core losses: Down 27% to £2.1bn