LONDON (ShareCast) - The head of the part-nationalised banking group Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to forgo his bonus this year after technical issues left millions of customers up and down the country without access to their cash.
"I think it's inappropriate for me to have a bonus this year. We have let our customers down," Stephen Hester told the BBC in an interview on Friday.
After a software upgrade on RBS's computer systems went wrong, the lender was unable to process payments for some 12m customers at RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank.
The issues had forced Natwest to double the usual number of staff at its call centres and extend opening hours in over 1,000 branches.
"That may have arisen from old systems and things that were before my time but I think we could reasonably be expected to have improved things since then and clearly we didn't improve them enough, so it wouldn't cross my mind to have a bonus this year," he said.
His bonus for this year was thought to be in the region of £2.4m, twice the amount of his £1.2m salary in 2011.
On the homepage of the Natwest website, a message from Hester read: "I am very sorry for the difficulties people are experiencing. Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened."
This is the second year in a row that Hester has waived his bonus, turning down a near-£1m reward last year.