Pay rise for OCBC, DBS, UOB chiefs last year

OCBC Bank chief executive Samuel Tsien was paid $9.69 million last year.
OCBC Bank chief executive Samuel Tsien was paid $9.69 million last year.

OCBC Bank chief executive Samuel Tsien was paid $9.69 million last year - a 15.6 per cent increase on 2016.

Mr Tsien's bumper pay packet included a salary of $1.24 million and a bonus of $5.03 million.

He also received deferred shares worth $2.52 million, share options estimated at $839,000 and $61,000 in other benefits, according to the bank's annual report out yesterday. His total remuneration in 2016 was $8.38 million.

DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta had a 23 per cent pay rise to $10.3 million last year, in cash and shares combined.

United Overseas Bank chief executive Wee Ee Cheong reaped an 11 per cent rise to $9.4 million.

All three chief executives had taken cuts in 2016 as the oil rout forced their banks to take higher allowances for bad loans to customers in the offshore and marine segment.

Mr Tsien took a 20 per cent cut that brought his pay to $8.3 million, down from $10.5 million in 2015. Mr Gupta's 23 per cent cut brought his remuneration to $8.4 million, while UOB's Mr Wee dropped 8.7 per cent to $8.4 million.

OCBC chairman Ooi Sang Kuang and Mr Tsien warned shareholders of the threat of protectionism, even as rising business and consumer confidence globally is expected to increase investment activity, lift consumer spending and drive trade expansion.

They noted in a joint statement that there are risks that could derail the positive near-term growth prospects of the region.

"The key risks that could trigger a sharp reversal of the current optimism include large and disorderly adjustments to financial markets arising from a higher-than-expected rise in inflation and central banks hastening the pace of monetary tightening," it said.

"Some threats of protectionism have been translated into action in early 2018, and risks remain high that these could spread during the year.

"In Asia, overly aggressive geo-political posturing poses the risk of possible miscalculations and erosion of confidence."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Pay rise for OCBC, DBS, UOB chiefs last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe