One of the architects of the EU's cap on bankers' bonuses has called for the UK government to be sued for allowing banks to sidestep the new rules as two more high street banks were preparing to hand their bosses up to £1m in extra pay to avoid the clampdown.
Royal Bank of Scotland plans to pay £588m in staff bonuses despite suffering an £8.24bn loss for last year.
'We don't want to do this at all....Sadly because of the EU directive we've had to change'.
"Dear shareholder, this new EU law capping bonuses is silly so we've decided to exploit the enormous and very obvious loophole. Stuff Brussels: we're not paying ourselves less. Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated."
The bosses of Britain's biggest banks are on course to be awarded millions of pounds in share payments to circumvent a Brussels-imposed bonus cap – a move that risks inflaming the toxic row over City pay deals.
Mark Carney has stepped into the row about bankers' bonuses with a demand that a large chunk of the pay packages for senior staff should be deferred "for a very long time".
Each of the 140,000 staff members at Barclays has a target set at the start of each year against which their pay is determined by the year end. In 2013, for the first time, 150 senior managers had an element of pay linked to what the new boss Antony Jenkins calls the "five Cs".
"At Barclays we believe in paying for performance and paying competitively," declared Antony Jenkins, chief executive, several times on Tuesday.
Tell us it's not true, saintly Antony.
Barclays will begin to hand out bonuses on Friday to its 140,000 staff around the world from a bonus pool expected to be bigger than last year's.
Citigroup is set to pay most of its investment bankers in Europe at least half of their bonuses in cash, as US banks push ahead with moves to hand star employees the most generous pay deals in the industry.
Goldman Sachs is devising ways to hand its highly-paid bankers a third element to pay in response to the EU's bonus cap.
Labour will on Wednesday demand that the government prevent bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland from paying out bonuses more than twice the size of its bankers' salaries and call for a repeat of the bonus tax.