By Marcus Leach

Stephen Hester, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief, claims his 2010 salary, which totalled £7.7 million, was at the lower end for those in the finance industry.

Hester, quizzed over his salary, told the Public Accounts Committee that his vast pay package was “at the low end of comparable jobs in the UK and globally, albeit at the high end of society if you want to put it those terms.”

The £7.7m of total compensation Hester received last year includes his £1.2m basic salary, a £2m bonus in shares and £4.5m worth of shares deferred until 2014 under a long-term incentive scheme.

This comes in the wake of RBS announcing that they have paid a group of 323 core staff members bonuses totalling £375 million. Hester's package has been criticised due to the taxpayer-owned bank losing over £1bn for the same financial year.