OCBC chief's 2015 pay packet rises to $10.49m

Mr Tsien's pay packet included a salary of $1.24 million, bonus of $5.51 million and $2.75 million in share awards.
Mr Tsien's pay packet included a salary of $1.24 million, bonus of $5.51 million and $2.75 million in share awards.

OCBC chief executive Samuel Tsien was handsomely rewarded last year, thanks to a broad-based improvement in the bank's performance.

Mr Tsien received $10.49 million in remuneration, up 6.1 per cent from 2014's $9.89 million, OCBC's annual report noted yesterday.

The pay packet included a base salary of $1.24 million, which remained unchanged from a year earlier. But Mr Tsien's bonus rose 7.2 per cent to $5.51 million, while share awards totalled $2.75 million, up 7 per cent on 2014.

DBS Group and United Overseas Bank are yet to release their annual reports.

The three banks faced a challenging year in 2015 amid investment market volatility, weak energy prices and bearish business sentiment but the numbers still held up.

OCBC reported a 2 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to a record high of $3.9 billion last year, with core earnings actually growing 13 per cent if a one-off gain in 2014 was excluded.

Net interest income rose 10 per cent to $5.19 billion despite a limited customer loans growth of only 4.4 per cent.

Net interest margins were stable at 1.67 per cent.

OCBC also saw a pay-off from its move to acquire Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank for $6.23 billion in 2014.

Last year, in its first full-year contribution to the group's earnings, the Hong Kong unit - with 95 branches and offices in Hong Kong, Macau and China - pulled in $307 million, or 8 per cent of OCBC's net profit.

A strong push to expand its presence in the Greater China market is at the centre of the growth strategies envisioned by Shanghai-born Mr Tsien, 61, who succeeded Mr David Conner as chief executive in 2012.

OCBC shares closed down eight cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $8.83 yesterday.

Correction note: An earlier version of this story stated that OCBC's Hong Kong unit has 95 branches and offices across the Pearl River Delta. In fact, a few of the branches are outside the delta.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline 'OCBC chief's 2015 pay packet rises to $10.49m'. Print Edition | Subscribe