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Bankers to be questioned over bonuses

MPs will interrogate top bankers amid continuing anger at massive bonuses.

MPs in the Commons Public Accounts Committee will hear evidence today from Stephen Hester and Nathan Bostock of RBS, and the departing Lloyds Banking Group boss Eric Daniels, along with his colleague Tim Tookey over bonuses and restrictions on lending.

Hester has already courted controversy after it was revealed that his 2010 bonus was in breach of the Project Merlin deal the 'big four' agreed with the Government. In the deal, it was stated that he would receive £2m in shares, payable after three years. In reality, he could receive £7.7m, inclusive of £4.5m worth of shares, withheld until 2014 and dependent on meeting performance targets.

The Committee will also quiz the men about lending under the Project Merlin agreement. According to the deal, HSBC, Barclays, RBS, and Lloyds Banking Group, plus Santander, are supposed to commit to making £190bn of credit available to businesses in 2011, up from the £179bn in 2010. £76bn of this is to be made available to smaller businesses.

Liam McLaughlin is a freelance journalist who has also written for Prospect and the Huffington Post. He tweets irregularly @LiamMc108.