Bank chiefs were accused of "pure greed" yesterday after the Royal Bank of Scotland made a £6BILLION profit last year.
The record figure is almost certain to trigger another bonanza for RBS's seven leading bosses who shared more than £12million in 2002.
Meanwhile unions say 25,000 staff earning an average £11,500 are being offered below-inflation pay rises - some for the fourth year in succession.
The RBS profit - a 29 per cent rise - is the biggest ever made by a British bank and equivalent to more than £300 for each of its 20million customers.
For shareholders it means a £223million rise in the dividend.
Eddie Weatherill, of the Independent Banking Advisory Service, said yesterday: "It's shameless, pure greed.
"Even City analysts are telling me the increase is so big it looks like profiteering at customers' expense."
Much of the increase was due to 18,000 jobs axed since the financial giant - which also owns Coutts and Direct Line insurance - snapped up NatWest for £21billion in 2001.
The ruthless cuts earned the bank's chief executive the nickname Fred "the Shred" Goodwin.
RBS also cut its wage bill by £4million in 2003 despite adding almost 10,000 staff following eight takeovers.
Finance union Unifi said: "The bank is effectively asking staff to take a pay cut. Fred Goodwin told us we had delivered everything asked of us and the bank was committed to returning our 'trust and loyalty'.