ShareSoc increases pressure on RBS over CEO’s pension and governance

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ShareSoc increases pressure on RBS over CEO’s pension and governance

ShareSoc, the UK’s premier membership society for individual investors, is continuing to increase the pressure on RBS to install a Shareholder Committee to help improve RBS’s governance and performance.

More embarrassment emerged for RBS (LON:RBS) last week when it was revealed that the CEO received a pension equivalent to 35% of salary. ShareSoc is urging all RBS shareholders to vote in favour of its resolution #28 for the creation of a Shareholder Committee at the AGM on April 25th.

Mark Northway, ShareSoc Chairman said “Shareholders deserve a new approach; one with greater involvement and more effective input from them as ultimate owners. RBS, given its track record and consequent taxpayer support, should now be leading from the front in governance matters.”

Cliff Weight, Director of ShareSoc, who has coordinated the campaign said “Paying the CEO a pension of 35% of salary and the (female) Finance Director only 10% of salary is a nonsense. It shows the current method of engaging with shareholders doesn’t work. We think our Shareholder Committee proposal at RBS is a good starting point and an example for others to follow. Increased shareholder oversight through a Shareholder Committee can only make the shares more attractive to prospective investors.”

A similar resolution was submitted to the 2018 AGM. There were 604.99 million votes in support of the proposal, representing 5.5% of the public votes cast. UK Government Investments (UKGI), which represented 75.3% of the votes cast on this matter, chose to vote against the resolution on that occasion – effectively deciding the outcome.

ShareSoc recognises that it takes time to influence the thinking of the Board, of UKGI and of institutional shareholders. Change does not happen overnight.

Cliff Weight added, “We have written to UKGI and all the major shareholders in RBS, plus the leading Proxy Advisers ISS, Glass Lewis, Minerva, IVIS and PIRC, and hope they will support our resolution this year. We have asked them to attend a meeting to explain why we think a shareholder committee will help RBS.

Perhaps, however, the simplest argument in favour of the Shareholder Committee is that the current method of cosy chats between RBS and major shareholders is not working. The latest bad press fiasco over the CEO’s egregious pension illustrates this. RBS does not listen. When it tries to listen, it fails to hear. A Shareholder Committee can only help. It is low cost and low risk. Vote for Resolution 28.”

To find out more about ShareSoc’s proposals click here – https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/rbs/

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