Remember this from 2004:
Fred Goodwin, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, could qualify for a bonus of up to nine times his salary - more than £8 million - according to Manifest - the proxy voting service.
Under the bank's medium-term bonus scheme, directors can be awarded shares worth up to 150 per cent of their salary plus bonus every year. While bonuses were capped at the basic salary, the 2003 annual report says directors are now eligible for up to twice their salaries 'for exceptional performance, as measured by the achievement of significant objectives'. These are not spelled out.
Manifest said that this means directors could be awarded shares equivalent to four-and-a-half times their basic salary every year. If the bank's performance is in the top 10 per cent of a group of 10 rivals over a three-year period, these awards could be doubled again, bringing the total to 900 per cent of annual salary.
So if they all went bust, but RBS was in the least bust 10%, Goodwin would have got 9 times his salary.