15.5% pay increase for DBS chief in 2018

DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta's cash bonus for last year rose to $4.5 million while his share plan went up to $6.1 million. This is on top of a salary of $1.2 million which was unchanged from the previous year, according to the bank's latest
DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta's cash bonus for last year rose to $4.5 million while his share plan went up to $6.1 million. This is on top of a salary of $1.2 million which was unchanged from the previous year, according to the bank's latest annual report.ST FILE PHOTO

$11.9m salary a personal high that comes on back of bank's 28% rise in net profit to a record $5.63b

DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta reaped a 15.5 per cent pay rise last year that lifted his compensation to a personal high of $11.9 million, according the bank's annual report yesterday.

Mr Gupta's cash bonus rose to $4.5 million while his share plan went up to $6.1 million, on top of a salary of $1.2 million which was unchanged from the previous year.

Other remuneration, representing non-cash components comprising club, car and driver, was marginally down at $62,527.

Mr Gupta's remuneration in 2017 was $10.3 million, up 23 per cent on the back of a 4 per cent rise in net profit to a record $4.39 billion.

It was a different story in 2016, when his pay fell 23 per cent to $8.4 million as the bank's profits slipped on bad debts from its oil and gas loans.

Mr Gupta's previous best pay year was 2015, when he took home $10.9 million.

The bank's total income hit a new high of $13.2 billion last year, while net profit rose 28 per cent to a record $5.63 billion. Return on equity was at 12.1 per cent, a level last seen in 2007, the report noted.

Chairman Peter Seah and Mr Gupta noted in the report that DBS Bank was making good progress in its shift to a more digital operation.

Around 80 per cent of its open systems were cloud-ready as of the end of last year, up from 66 per cent in 2017.

It also set up an analytics centre of excellence that has trained about 10,000 employees on a data-driven curriculum, and developed a framework on responsible data usage.

DBS said it continues to see an increase in customer acquisition through digital channels. One in five new mortgages in the region was acquired online last year, up from one in 25 a year earlier.

Another digital initiative involved setting up marketplaces on its website, allowing it to sell cars, property and electricity.

DBS also struck 25 or so partnerships regionally in consumer and institutional banking, which included Gojek and Carousell and credit underwriting partners such as Experian, Perfios and Pefindo.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2019, with the headline '15.5% pay increase for DBS chief in 2018'. Print Edition | Subscribe