OCBC CEO Samuel Tsien took home $10.7m in pay for 2018, a 10.4% rise

OCBC Bank's chief executive Samuel Tsien received $10.7 million in 2018. In 2017, his total remuneration was $9.69 million.
OCBC Bank's chief executive Samuel Tsien received $10.7 million in 2018. In 2017, his total remuneration was $9.69 million.PHOTO: OCBC

SINGAPORE - OCBC Bank's chief executive Samuel Tsien received a 10.4 per cent increase in pay in 2018 from a year ago, the bank disclosed in its annual report on Friday (April 5).

Mr Tsien received $10.7 million in 2018. In 2017, his total remuneration was $9.69 million.

DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta took home a 15.5 per cent pay rise to $11.9 million last year, in cash and shares combined.

United Overseas Bank (UOB) chief executive Wee Ee Cheong earned a 12 per cent pay rise to $10.56 million in 2018.

For 2018, OCBC's Mr Tsien received about $1.2 million in salary and $5.6 million in bonus. About $3.7 million came from deferred shares, with the remainder from other benefits.

Separately, OCBC chairman Ooi Sang Kuang and Mr Tsien noted that the global economic outlook for 2019 is now more challenging as growth momentum has softened. This slowdown is further clouded by uncertainties surrounding the US-China trade conflict, the possibility of a disorderly withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, as well as monetary tightening in the US, they said.

"These developments have undermined the conduct of world trade and finance, and greatly dampened business and consumer confidence."

Nonetheless, the Asian region is expected to benefit from the rearrangement out of China's global supply chain, as manufacturing and services activities are realigned to other countries for cost competitiveness and country of origin, they added.

"The fundamentals supporting Asia's growth remain sound... On balance, Asia as a region can continue to outperform the rest of the world," noted Mr Ooi and Mr Tsien.

Looking ahead, OCBC said it will continue to seek growth opportunities, while being alert to risks in its operating environment and "embrace digital technology" across the group.

Compared against its non-digital customers, OCBC received two times more revenue from its digital retail customers, and three times more revenue from its digital business customers in 2018. According to the bank, digital customers are those who have used Internet or mobile banking at least once in the last three months.

Within Singapore, 49 per cent of its retail customers are digital customers, up from 36 per cent in 2014, and the bank is targeting to increase this to 55 per cent by 2019. In addition, 62 per cent of its business customers are now digital customers, up from 36 per cent in 2014. The bank aims to increase this to 65 per cent by 2019.

OCBC also said it will focus on upskilling its staff, with a S$20 million investment to train and develop the digital skills of its employees under the OCBC Future Smart Programme.

Across the group, the bank noted that its wealth management business is growing, with the number of new OCBC Wing Hang Premier Banking customers in Hong Kong more than doubling in tandem with the rise of the affluent.

As at 10.05am on Friday, shares in OCBC were trading at $11.73, up $0.10 or 0.9 per cent.