RBS: Small shareholders demand a say in bank bosses’ pay

RBS

Small investors in RBS are pushing for the bank to set up a shareholder committee to give them a bigger say in areas such as executive pay.

Groups representing small shareholders argue they should be involved in ensuring good corporate governance.

Investors hope RBS will serve as a test case so other companies will consider installing a shareholder committee.

RBS said it had not seen full details but pledged to “look closely” at it once it had.

The way companies are managed – and how much bosses are paid – has been been under particular scrutiny this year following the collapse and loss of 11,000 jobs at BHS and the revelations about pay and working conditions at Sports Direct.

Chief executives of FTSE 100 companies have a median pay package of £4.3m, according to the High Pay Centre, which works out at 140 times that of the average worker.

In November, the government issued a Green Paper to explore improving how companies are run.

It proposed that a shareholder committee could be set up “to scrutinise remuneration and other key corporate issues such as long term strategy and directors’ appointments”.

The UK Individual Shareholders’ Society (ShareSoc) and the UK Shareholders’ Association (UKSA), who represent retail (individual) investors, said: “We suggest that this initiative will significantly benefit corporate governance at RBS, and represents a valuable opportunity for RBS to lead the way in exploring a concept which works well in other countries.”

ShareSoc and UKSA will present RBS with a resolution for the proposal to be included on the agenda at the bank’s annual general meeting in May, where investors would then be given the chance to vote on the measure.

A spokesman for RBS, said: “We have not yet received the final draft resolution. Once it has been delivered we will look closely to ensure that it complies with all corporate governance and listing guidelines.”

 

 

[Source:- BBC]

India sees long bank queues as rupee deadline passes

Old 500 rupee notes

There have been long queues outside many banks in India as people tried to deposit discontinued banknotes ahead of a deadline that has now passed.

An estimated 40% of cash dispensers are empty, meaning people are unable to withdraw new notes to replace the old ones they have handed in.

There has been widespread disruption since Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in November that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal.

The move as meant to curb corruption.

It has divided opinion, especially over how the ban was implemented.

Early last month the government scrapped the 500 and 1000 rupee notes to crack down on undeclared money and fake cash.

Some people, including those of Indian origin living abroad, will be able to exchange the notes in branches of India’s central bank until 31 March 2017 – but the process will be more complicated than going to a regular bank.

Parliament is preparing laws that will make it a criminal offence to hold the old notes from 1 April 2017 onwards.

Together the two notes represented 86% of the currency in circulation and there have been chaotic scenes in India ever since, with people having to spend hours queuing outside banks and cash machines which have been running out of money.

ATM queues and cash withdrawal limits mean getting currency can still be tricky, and there have been several changes of the rules around how much money people can access or deposit.

The government hopes the measures will encourage more people to have bank accounts and move towards a society less reliant on cash.

But there are concerns that many poorer people and those in rural areas have yet to get bank accounts.

Local firms which allow people to make digital payments both online and in shops have reported a surge in transactions as people look for cashless alternatives.

The government says the move has been a success with the banks flush with cash and significant increases in tax collection.

But critics argue the move has failed to root out corruption and unearth illegal cash, since most of the money in circulation has been put back into the financial system. Instead, they say, the economy which was growing at a rapid pace, has slowed down significantly.

 

 
[Source:- BBC]