DBS chief Piyush Gupta’s pay climbs 13% to S$15.4 million as bank profit soars

DBS chief Piyush Gupta's pay climbs 13% to S$15.4 million as bank profit soars

SINGAPORE: DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta earned S$15.4 million in 2022, a 13 per cent increase in what was a banner year for Southeast Asia’s biggest lender.

That included a cash bonus of S$5.8 million, his salary of S$1.5 million as well as deferred pay, the Singapore bank’s latest annual report showed on Thursday (Mar 9).

The big payday for Gupta, 63, comes after DBS logged a record net profit of S$8.2 billion last year, up 20 per cent on the year, as banks reaped the benefits of higher interest rates.

DBS’s return on equity (ROE) jumped to a record 15 per cent last year and to 17.2 per cent in the fouth quarter. The bank also increased dividend payouts.

“We expect that as our digital transformation becomes more pervasive, an ROE of 15 per cent is sustainable if interest rates do not return to the unusually low levels seen during most of the past decade,” Gupta said in the annual report.

One of Asia’s highest-paid bank CEOs, Gupta still lags behind Macquarie Group’s Shemara Wikramanayake, who earned A$25.8 million (S$23 million) in the year ended March 2022.

By comparison, the chief executives of HSBC and Standard Chartered whose shares have long underperformed banking peers, are paid less.

Noel Quinn, head of Asia-focused HSBC, has seen his pay package jump 14 per cent to £5.6 million (S$8.9 million) from a year earlier, while StanChart CEO Bill Winters’ total pay rose 15.7 per cent to £5.5 million from a year earlier.