The Government has asked the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir Fred Goodwin, to forgo some of his pension, reports the BBC.
Chancellor Alistair Darling told the BBC of the government's approach after it emerged that Sir Fred is drawing a pension of £650,000 a year. Although he is only 50, he is entitled to the payment for life, with a pension pot worth £16m.
"You cannot justify these excesses," Mr Darling told the BBC's Today programme.
"We've got the lawyers looking at this, but I do think that on a voluntary basis, actually, Sir Fred could resolve this problem and he could do it quite quickly."
Darling told the BBC: "At my request, my ministerial colleague, Lord Myners, spoke to Sir Fred [on Wednesday] and put it to him quite simply: look, in the circumstances in which this bank is now in, do you not think it right that you should forgo this? "
The chancellor said the government had not yet received a reply to the request.
"Obviously we will look at what we can do in relation to legal remedies, but I do think that, it's not just this case, but you cannot justify these excesses - especially when you've got such a failure of this magnitude. "
Royal Bank of Scotland has suffered the biggest loss in British corporate history - more than £24bn - and admitted today the taxpayer could end up owning 95% of the bank if its losses continue to mount, says The Guardian.
The troubled bank needs to sell up to £19.5bn new B shares to the taxpayer in order to insure £300bn of its most troublesome assets. As a result, the taxpayer's voting rights over the bank would increase to 75% from almost 70% now.
But Stephen Hester, the new chief executive, said the government's "economic interest" could rise to 95% "depending on how things work out".
On a conference call with reporters this morning, Hester said he "wanted to be honest and clear" on the government's stake because "we live in an uncertain world". But the voting influence of the taxpayer would be restricted to 75%, he said.
Insurance firm Legal & General is planning to cut between 250 and 450 jobs, the BBC has learned.
Legal & General employs 8,500 people and said it faced "changing business demand and operational efficiencies".
"L&G will keep any potential redundancies to a minimum and will try to find suitable alternative employment for staff affected," a spokesman said.IFAonline
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