Standard Chartered To Slash Chief’s Bonus
Standard Chartered, the emerging markets bank, will reveal on Wednesday that it is slashing its bonus pool and its boss’s payout as it bids to stave off the kind of row with investors that has hit rivals such as Barclays.
Sky News has learnt that Standard Chartered will announce alongside its annual results that it is paying roughly $1.2bn (£720m) in bonuses for 2013, down from $1.4bn (£840m) the year before.
The percentage fall in bonuses is substantially higher than the decline in the bank’s profits for the year, reflecting its desire to demonstrate pay restraint, a source close to Standard Chartered’s board said on Tuesday.
Peter Sands, the bank’s chief executive, will see his bonus cut by a bigger margin than the reduction in the overall pool, according to a source.
His £2m payout for 2012 had been reduced to not much more than £1m to reflect “a challenging year” for the bank, which sponsors Premier League side Liverpool, they added.
While a comparison with Barclays is unlikely to be explicitly drawn by Standard Chartered, the source said Mr Sands and Sir John Peace, its chairman, were keen to avoid the publicity over pay which had damaged its UK-based rival.
Last month, Barclays increased its bonus pool for 2013 to £2.4bn despite a slump in profits, a move which has sparked fury from a number of leading City investors.
Standard Chartered has been a darling of the stock market for many years, with its presence in Africa, Asia and Latin America underpinning a decade-long unbroken run of record profits.
That performance will come to an end on Wednesday when it is expected by City analysts to report a fall in earnings of about 6% to just over $7bn (£4.2bn).
The bank’s shares have suffered recently as a consequence of City speculation about a dividend cut and rights issue, as well as broader concerns about the volatility of emerging market economies.
Standard Chartered plans to use Wednesday’s results announcement to address speculation about its capital position, an insider said.
The bank is understood to be frustrated about what it perceives to be a lack of explicit guidance from the Prudential Regulation Authority, the UK banking regulator, about its future capital requirements.
Standard Chartered, which is in the process of selling a number of assets in markets such as Lebanon and South Korea, declined to comment.