ROYAL Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan has been awarded shares worth around £540,000 based on last night’s closing price, the state-backed institution announced last night, writes Scott Wright.

Mr McEwan, who appeared before the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster last week to defend the bank’s latest, controversial branch cull, was awarded 184,784 shares as part of his fixed share allowance for the period ending June 30.

Mr McEwan, who succeeded Stephen Hester as chief executive of Royal Bank in 2013, is entitled to receive a fixed share allowance equal to 100 per cent of his £1 million basic salary.

The bank said yesterday that, following his most recent award, the New Zealander transferred 27,602 shares worth around £81,000, to charity on May 11.

That was in line with commitments made by Mr McEwan in February 2016 to transfer all of his 2015 fixed share allowance and half of his 2016 fixed share allowance to charity.

Some 86,832 of the shares awarded to Mr McEwan, worth around £255,000, were with withheld to satisfied associated tax liability.

The chief executive retained 97,916 shares worth about £287,000.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland closed down 1.1p at 293p.