Royal Bank of Scotland is to pay out just under £400m in bonuses to its investment banking staff for their work in 2011, according to Sky sources. The day before RBS announces its full-year results, the bank is understood to have agreed with the Government that it can pay out between £390m and £400m in bonuses this year. The bonus pool, revealed exclusively by Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman, is likely to further stoke recent controversy over banker pay. The pot represents a cut of about 60% on last year's investment bank bonuses at RBS, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer. It comes as the bank prepares to report an expected full-year loss of up to £2bn, making the prospect of the taxpayer breaking even on the £45bn investment made in RBS during the 2008 banking crisis as remote as ever. The rewards follow a year in which thousands of employees were made redundant as Stephen Hester, the bank's chief executive, accelerated a restructuring of the business. Despite the reduction in the overall bonus pot, scores of RBS bankers are expected to collect packages worth more than £1m. The biggest payouts will be largely paid in shares and deferred over a three-year period. Ministers have insisted that RBS enforces a £2,000 cap on the cash element of bonuses for the third successive year. Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers Association, defended the latest RBS payouts, saying bonuses for investment bankers were set according to the international market. RBS boss Stephen Hester caved into pressure to waive his 2011 bonus She told Sky News that if UK banks failed to compete with global compensation levels they would lose the best employees, and in the case of RBS this could damage the long-term interest for the taxpayer. The bonus revelation came as Sir Philip Hampton, RBS's chairman, claims in a Sky News documentary with Jeff Randall, that the era of big banking bonuses is over. A YouGov poll for Sky News also showed that three-quarters of people believe that bosses at Britain's state-backed banks should not receive a bonus. Mr Hester waived his £1m bonus several weeks ago, while Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, also decided to rule out receiving a bonus. The 2011 pool is the lowest awarded to RBS's investment bankers since the bank was rescued by taxpayers in 2008.