Business

Smaller pay packages for 
local bank bosses last year


The total pay of local bank bosses was slashed last year due to lower bonuses amid an uneven business environment.

Chief executives' annual remuneration comprises basic salary, bonuses and various share rewards. Last year, around $1 million each was cut from the bonuses paid to the CEOs of DBS, OCBC and United Overseas Bank, according to the annual reports.

The highest paid CEO remained DBS's Mr Piyush Gupta. His total remuneration was $8.44 million last year compared with $10.94 million for 2015. Included in the package was his bonus which came down from $4.12 million to $3.12 million last year.

UOB's Mr Wee Ee Cheong was next with a total haul of $8.42 million compared with 2015's $9.22 million. Most of his package was the bonus which fell from $8 million to $7.20 million.

At OCBC, Mr Samuel Tsien's total remuneration was $8.38 million, down from $10.49 million a year earlier as his bonus dropped from $5.51 million to $4.25 million.

Other senior figures also received less last year. DBS non-executive chairman Peter Seah was paid $1.25 million in fees, down from $1.27 million in 2015. Separately, the value of his non-cash benefits, including car and driver, fell from $52,263 to $51,212. OCBC chairman Ooi Sang Kuang's remuneration fell from $2.2 million to $1.637 million as he took a cut in fees. It is understood that he had volunteered to receive lower fees in view of the difficult times.

These less generous payouts are not surprising after the entire sector endured a bumpy year of lower earnings and massive bad debt allowances, Maybank Kim Eng analyst Ng Li Hiang told The Straits Times.

Full-year earnings at DBS were down 5 per cent year on year at $4.24 billion in 2016, OCBC's were 11 per cent lower at $3.47 billion while UOB reported a 3.5 per cent drop to $3.1 billion. The main culprit was the money put aside as allowances for non-performing loans, the bulk of which stemmed from the struggling oil and gas sector.

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