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DBS: Singapore’s biggest bank cuts executive pay after outages

Singapore’s biggest bank DBS has slashed its CEO’s bonus by 30% after disruptions to its digital services, despite it posting a record profit.

The company said the cut to Piyush Gupta’s variable pay amounts to S$4.14m ($3.1m; £2.4m) and that his full salary for 2023 will be disclosed in March.

In 2022 Mr Gupta was paid S$15.4m.

After several glitches last year, the country’s central bank banned DBS from buying new businesses or making non-essential IT changes for six months.

The outages saw digital payment services and cash machines go offline across the city-state.

At the time, DBS apologised and announced plans to improve the resiliency of its systems.

In its latest statement, the bank said other members of its management team will have their variable pay cut by 21%, while more junior employees will get a one-off bonus to help them with higher living costs.

DBS’ variable pay is made of both a cash bonus and deferred shares. It comes on top of base pay and is usually based on an employee’s performance.

The cuts to the pay of senior DBS executives comes despite the bank posting annual record earnings, with its 2023 net profit rising by 26% to S$10.3bn.

Like many other banks around the world, DBS has benefited from higher interest rates as central banks have kept the cost of borrowing up as they tried to curb rising prices.

The company’s shares were trading around 2.7% higher after the earnings announcement on Wednesday morning.

Mr Gupta has been the chief executive of DBS since November 2009.

Under his leadership the firm has grown its businesses in India, Taiwan, and mainland China.

It has also expanded its wealth management business, which is now one of the biggest in Asia.