StanChart pays 118 staff $1.4 mil­lion or more, top earner Rees lands $9.5m

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Asia-fo­cused bank Stan­dard Char­tered Plc (STAN.L) paid 118 of its bankers at least 1 mil­lion eu­ros ($1.4 mil­lion) last year, topped by a $9.5 mil­lion pay­out to Mike Rees, head of its whole­sale or in­vest­ment bank­ing di­vi­sion.

Rees is of­ten the big­gest earner at Stan­dard Char­tered and his pay last year was down 35 per­cent from 2012 as prof­its at the bank fell, ac­cord­ing to the bank's an­nual re­port re­leased on Fri­day.

Stan­dard Char­tered said Rees, who has been pro­moted to deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, could be paid $11.4 mil­lion pounds this year. That is 47 per­cent down from a max­i­mum pay­out he could have re­ceived in 2013 of $21.4 mil­lion.

The bank has ad­justed its pay struc­ture to meet EU rules that will this year cap bonuses at 200 per­cent of base salary, in a move aimed at lim­it­ing hefty bonuses, which were blamed for en­cour­ag­ing the risk-tak­ing that con­trib­uted to the 2008/09 fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Stan­dard Char­tered has in­creased base salaries and in­tro­duced "al­lowances" that in­crease the fixed pay el­e­ment, and re­duced po­ten­tial bonus pay­ments.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Peter Sands could be paid $12.4 mil­lion this year, down from a max­i­mum pay­out of $14.5 mil­lion un­der the pre­vi­ous struc­ture. He was paid $6.8 mil­lion last year, down 38 per­cent from 2012, as pre­vi­ously dis­closed.

Stan­dard Char­tered re­ported its first drop in an­nual prof­its for a decade last year and said it faces a chal­leng­ing firsthalf to 2014, as Asia mar­kets slow, tougher reg­u­la­tions squeeze mar­gins and its busi­ness in South Korea strug­gles.

The bank, which makes 90 per­cent of its profit in Asia, the Mid­dle East and Africa, cut its bonus pool last year by 15 per­cent to $1.2 bil­lion due to the weak per­for­mance.

Sands' base pay has been in­creased to $1.86 mil­lion from $1.68 mil­lion and he will get an al­lowance of $1.1 mil­lion. Rees' salary has gone up to $1.62 mil­lion and he will get an al­lowance of $1 mil­lion.

Stan­dard Char­tered is fol­low­ing sev­eral other banks, in­clud­ing Bar­clays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L) and Gold­man Sachs (GS.N) to in­tro­duce an al­lowance, which will not be in­cluded in pen­sion pay­ments and should be more flex­i­ble than salaries.

Banks say they need to pay com­pet­i­tively to at­tract and re­tain staff, es­pe­cially as many of the af­fected staff work out­side Europe, and Asian and U.S. ri­vals do not face the same pay caps.

"The (EU bonus cap) pro­posal in­evitably, and re­gret­tably, re­sulted in an in­crease in fixed pay," Stan­dard Char­tered said in its an­nual re­port. It will pay the al­lowances to se­nior ex­ec­u­tives and hun­dreds of other staff.

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