ROYAL Bank of Scotland has handed 10 executives a combined £3.4 million in share allowances, the scheme introduced by many banks following new EU rules on bonuses.

RBS, which is 81 per cent-owned by the Government, scrapped plans to pay executives bonuses worth up to double their salaries after opposition from ministers. It instead agreed to pay them a maximum of one times their basic pay.

Now the Edinburgh-based bank, which has come under fire for awarding what some consumer groups complain are generous bonuses to staff while the bank is making crippling losses, has revealed it has given just under one million shares to management.

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The payments are worth between £200,000 and £533,000 each.

The shares were awarded for the eight months to the end of August.

The biggest payout, worth £530,000, has gone to restructuring chief Rory Cullinan, the bank said, equivalent to 100 per cent of his salary for the eight month period, while deputy chief executive Christopher Sullivan was given £467,000 worth of shares.

Equity allocations differ from bonuses in that they are not directly associated to financial achievement and are paid in shares rather than cash.