DBS CEO Piyush Gupta’s 2022 pay rises 13.2% to $15.4 million

Mr Piyush Gupta’s total compensation in 2021 was $13.6 million. PHOTO: BT FILE

SINGAPORE – Mr Piyush Gupta, the chief executive of DBS Group, saw his annual earnings climb 13.2 per cent to $15.4 million in 2022 as South-east Asia’s biggest bank posted record profit and return on equity (ROE).

Mr Gupta’s 2022 pay consisted of a salary of $1.5 million, a cash bonus of $5.77 million and deferred remuneration in cash and shares of $8.04 million. A non-cash component – comprising club, car and driver benefits – worth $80,529 was also part of his pay package, according to the bank’s annual report released on Thursday.

In February, the bank reported a 20 per cent surge in net profit to $8.19 billion, with earnings driven by higher interest rates. It also achieved a new high on ROE of 15 per cent, up from 12.5 per cent in 2021.

Mr Gupta’s total compensation in 2021 was $13.6 million, a 48 per cent jump from 2020 when his pay fell 24 per cent to $9.2 million during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a joint letter in the annual report, DBS chairman Peter Seah and Mr Gupta said that 2022 was a “breakout year” for DBS, with its ROE significantly surpassing previous highs of around the 12 per cent to 13 per cent range.

Against the backdrop of challenges like escalating geopolitical tensions, high inflation and slowing external demand, DBS said it managed to produce “solid financial performance and continued delivery against key scorecard goals”.

Mr Seah and Mr Gupta said: “Although we remain watchful, we take heart that our loan pipeline looks healthy.

“If animal spirits return to markets, we should also see some upside to fee income. Barring any unexpected shocks to the global economy, DBS’ ROE will comfortably be above 15 per cent.”

In the annual report, Mr Gupta said that DBS needs to continue strengthening its technology in areas such as cloud computing and site reliability engineering to improve scalability, automation and speed to market.

DBS has been undergoing digitalisation since 2014. Over the past five years since it began tracking the value of digitalisation, digitally engaged customers brought in more than twice the income on average than non-digital customers and cost less to serve, said Mr Gupta.

In 2022, DBS also collaborated with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on two trial applications. One was to trade tokenised assets and the other was to distribute purpose-bound vouchers using programmable money and retail central bank digital currencies.

Correction note: An earlier version of this story said DBS has been undergoing digitalisation since 2017. This is incorrect. It has been undergoing digitalisation since 2014, with data on the value of their digitalisation available since 2017.

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