Staff at Halifax Bank of Scotland are to share a windfall worth £67m after the firm posted a 17% rise in half-year profits to almost £2.7bn.
Free shares worth 5% of annual salary will be awarded to 60,000 employees in what the group believes is the biggest payout of its kind in the UK.
The announcement came as profits from the company topped City expectations, helped by a 4% rise in profits to £1.1bn in high street banking.
The award of free shares – up to a maximum of £3,000 – brings the amount awarded in shares and annual bonuses to £289m this year. That compares with £276m a year ago.