The Hester story at RBS has many parallels with the way the Labour government shafted Eric Daniels at Lloyds.
Prior to the financial crisis Hester had left banking and was running British Land, for which job he was no doubt handsomely rewarded. Come the fall of RBS, due at least in part to a failure of UK bank supervision, Hester is appointed to his position in RBS. The package is a little on the lavish side, but then you have pay up in order to get somebody above the average and Hester clearly fits that bill. Three years later, Miliband and Chuka Umunna are laying into him, not for his performance but because of his outrageous compensation package, negotiated by the government that they supported.
The similarity with Daniels is remarkable. Daniels was running Lloyds which probably had a few problems going into the financial crisis but nothing like the scale of HBOS or RBS. Actually that is probably a little unfair on lloys. It was a conservatively run bank with a very low risk portfolio. Daniels was running that quite nicely and no doubt being handsomely rewarded for running a steady ship.
Then comes the hand of Brown on his shoulder asking Daniels to do the country a favour by taking on the basket case that was HBOS. The country needed the strength and conservative approach of his bank to clean up the mess (that the government had supervised for the previous 10 years). So as well as running his old bank, Daniels took on the task of running a much bigger bank, but at the same salary.
But this was not enough for Labour politicians who lambasted Daniels for being paid so much while running a bank that had been bailed out by the government, overlooking the reality that what they had actually done was to swamp Daniels' nicely run bank in a pile of crap and expected him to do their dirty work of sorting it out using Lloyds equity cushion until that got wiped out by HBOS losses and the merged group needed a bail out.
Of course RBS shares opened nearly 3% down on the day so that saving £900k (£450k after tax) the Labour way has cost the country £700 million.
Yet another reason why another Labour government would be the final nail in the coffin of this country.