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Morning Coffee: Revealed – the bank whose senior managers gave away an $18m bonus

DBS managers give up $18m bonus

What's $18m to me?

Back in February DBS announced that it was giving 18,000 of its employees an unexpected extra bonus of S$1k (US$800) each – a cost to the firm of S$18m. The cash was handed out to mark Chinese New Year, Singapore’s 50th birthday and DBS reaching a landmark S$50bn in market capitalisation.

But where did the money actually come from? Senior managers paid for it from their bonus pool, Peter Seah, chairman of DBS, told the bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday. He said the hongbao had increased “bonding” among staff, reports the Business Times.

Singapore’s three local banks are increasingly engaged in a battle to become employers of choice in the city state and are not adverse to making public announcements about internal HR policies in order to generate publicity. Earlier this month OCBC revealed it was using S$3.8m it received under the Singapore government’s Wage Credit Scheme to fund career development and wellness programmes for all its 3,600 employees at a junior managerial level or below.

DBS executives can at least afford their give-away. The bank’s 19 most senior managers (excluding chief executive Piyush Gupta) still earned S$53m between them last year – or an average of S$2.78m, according to the bank’s annual report. Gupta himself took home S$10.12m, up 10% from 2013.

Meanwhile:

Citi hires rainmaker Simon Yuan to drive FIG deals in China. (Finance Asia)

Nomura is reshuffling its upper ranks. (Finance Asia)

HSBC staff in Singapore help raise S$600k in teh tarik event. (Business Times)

Standard Chartered sponsors new EY programme for top women entrepreneurs. (Straits Times)

Professionals, managers, executives and technicians most vulnerable to redundancies in Singapore. (Straits Times)

Hong Leong Finance Q1 profit rises 7.8%. (Business Times)

Why China is now using more traditional tools to boost its economy. (South China Morning Post)


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