Deutsche Bank boosts fixed pay of staff as bonus shrinks

FRANKFURT • Deutsche Bank has raised fixed pay of employees to partially compensate for a 17 per cent drop in bonus payments, co-chief executive John Cryan told German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Deutsche Bank wanted to reward its employees for helping to deliver a solid operating result, Mr Cryan told the paper in an interview published yesterday .

"We cannot hold all our colleagues collectively responsible for the missteps of the past," he said.

Fixed salaries had been raised to partially compensate the reduction of the bonus pool to €2.4 billion (S$3.7 billion) from €2.7 billion, Mr Cryan said.

He blamed Germany's move to change insolvency legislation for shaking investor confidence in the bank, and leading to a downgrade by rating agency Moody's.

"This made many investors feel insecure and we have not succeeded in communicating these very technical aspects in a clear manner," Mr Cryan told the paper.

Deutsche Bank, which saw a management upheaval last year, is seeking to boost capital and profitability to reverse a slump that has made it the worst-valued major global lender. Rising provisions for past misconduct spanning its global businesses have hurt the bank's financial strength, sapping more than the €11.5 billion in equity it raised from investors in 2014 and 2013.

The bank scrapped 2015 bonuses for its management board. Mr Cryan said in January it would be "inappropriate vis-a-vis society" not to scale back variable compensation.

The co-CEO said previously that bankers still earn too much money and are often promised rewards too quickly. The bank paid 756 people €1 million or more for last year, down from 816 members in 2014, according to its filings.

Last year's highest-paid member of staff was awarded between €11 million and €12 million. That compares with between €8 million and €9 million for the two highest-paid members in 2014. The company didn't disclose any names.

Deutsche Bank extended the minimum deferral period for bonuses over four years from three and increased the retention period for upfront equity awards for so-called material risk takers to one year, according to the statement.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2016, with the headline 'Deutsche Bank boosts fixed pay of staff as bonus shrinks'. Print Edition | Subscribe