Royal Bank of Scotland should not be “leading the way” when it came to bankers’ bonuses, the Prime Minister said.
But David Cameron warned against “banker-bashing”, saying that it was too easy to make banks the “scapegoats” for the recession.
Mr Cameron’s comments came after it was reported RBS chief executive Stephen Hester will take home an estimated £6.8 million in bonuses, salary and other payments this year.
Mr Cameron said the details of Hester’s pay packet was “pure speculation” but warned RBS should not be paying out massive bonuses.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “On the general, I want to see the bonus pool smaller than last year, on the specific, Royal Bank of Scotland, as you rightly say, is owned by the Government.
“They should not be leading the way on bonuses, they should be a back-marker.”
Mr Cameron said he understood the public’s anger over bankers’ bonuses. He said: “I feel it because frankly the whole country has suffered from irresponsible lending practices, irresponsible behaviour.
“But we need to recognise though that there were a lot of people to blame for the mess we are in and that we shouldn’t just think it’s an easy scapegoat to pick one in view.
“Governments made mistakes, regulators made mistakes, politicians made mistakes, everyone was involved. Opposition made mistakes, dare I say it.”