RBS promised Katie Murray a maximum of $3.7mn a year if she hits bonus targets. However, the former chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson used to pocket $4.4mn a year. This makes it a significant gap in the income levels of the coveted position in terms of genders.
Gender equality campaigners have stated that Murray deserved the same amount as her predecessor. Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, stated: ‘Women consistently find themselves undervalued compared to their male counterparts.’
‘RBS needs to be clear of any objective reason for the differences in pay and reward. At first glance she may have an equal pay claim.’ She added.
Murray, 49 is the first woman to serve as finance boss at a major UK bank. She will get fixed pay of $1.8mn and $94,744 a year towards her pension. All of this along with a maximum bonus worth another $1.8mn.
Stevenson, 52, was given fixed pay of $2mn, $353,758 towards his pension and a maximum $2mn bonus – up to $4.4mn a year, which is $505,350 more than Murray. Murray’s appointment back in 2015 was seen as a milestone for the banking industry.
RBS’s corporate banking head Alison Rose is seen as the most likely replacement for its chief executive Ross McEwan, meaning its two most senior jobs could both be held by women in just a year’s time.Last year, senior banker Jayne-Anne Gadhia warned the lender had suffered from a ‘very male culture’ which was ‘win-lose’ when she worked there from 2001 to 2007.
Gadhia, who was heading Virgin Money at the time, told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee: ‘I remember a very senior woman being very upset one day, telling me that she was expected to sleep with her boss.’
‘That sort of thing of course means there are issues for women in progressing through financial services.’ She added.
It came amid a row over huge pay gaps between male and female bankers who were lower down the food chain. Men at Barclay’s investment bank arm were paid 48% more than women last year, and HSBC had the biggest gap of any large business, with a 59% gap.
At RBS, the difference was 37%. Banks have been reducing pay for newer senior staff and cutting their pension benefits in a crackdown on excess.