DBS Chief Gets Biggest Pay Boost Among Top Singapore Bank CEOs

  • Gupta's 7.9 percent bump makes him the best-paid in the group
  • UOB's Wee Ee Chong slips to second-place in total compensation

Piyush Gupta.

Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Piyush Gupta, DBS Group Holdings Ltd.’s chief executive officer, got the biggest pay raise in 2015 for CEOs at Singapore’s three biggest banks, pushing him past United Overseas Bank Ltd.’s Wee Ee Cheong as the highest compensated among the bosses.

Gupta’s total remuneration climbed 7.9 percent to S$10.9 million ($8.1 million) after his bonus jumped 8.6 percent, according to DBS’s annual report released Wednesday. His salary was unchanged at S$1.2 million. The overall increase moved him ahead of Wee, whose total pay at UOB, Singapore’s third-biggest lender by assets, fell 10 percent to S$9.2 million last year.

During Gupta’s tenure, “DBS has grown from strength to strength,” the lender, Southeast Asia’s biggest, said in the report. "The bank is today firmly entrenched as a leading Asian bank.” Earnings have more than doubled since 2010 and return on equity increased to 11.2 percent in 2015 from 10.9 percent the previous year, the bank said.

At Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., CEO Samuel Tsien’s pay climbed 6 percent to S$10.5 million last year.

Excluding one-time items, DBS’s net income rose 12 percent to S$4.32 billion in 2015, the bank said on Feb. 22. Core net profit after tax, excluding a one-time item in 2014, increased 13 percent to S$3.9 billion at OCBC last year, while net income at UOB fell 1.2 percent to S$3.21 billion.

The shares of all three lenders fell in 2015, with DBS down 19 percent, OCBC declining 16 percent, and UOB falling 20 percent.

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