Royal Bank of Scotland's boss said the bank needed to pay its investment bankers "fairly" despite posting an 8 billion pound loss, to ensure its capital markets business continued to perform.

RBS said it would pay 576 million pounds ($958 million) in bonuses for 2013, down 15 percent on 2012. It paid 237 million pounds in bonuses to staff in the Markets division.

"I know it's a highly emotional issue... but I need to pay these people fairly in the market place to do the job. We have been a back marker on pay but I have to make sure we are there or thereabouts," he told reporters on a conference call.($1 = 0.6011 British pounds)

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)