Austrian bank boss hands back €2m of his 2012 pay package

RAIFFEISEN bank chief executive Herbert Stepic has returned €2m (£1.7m) of his 2012 pay package, telling staff he felt morally obliged to cut his overly generous compensation.

In an email to employees, Stepic said he was due to receive €4.9m in total made up of his salary, a bonus for successful 2011 results and a share incentive programme (SIP) that accounted for “the lion’s share” of the payout.

“Such an annual overall remuneration – even though one-time and reflecting the success of several years through the SIP – is neither in accord with my own self-conception nor with the Raiffeisen group’s foundation of values,” he wrote in the email.

Talks he initiated with chairman Walter Rothensteiner and other members of the supervisory board’s personnel committee concluded a partial repayment was appropriate, he added, even though his compensation significantly lagged the average €6.5m for chief executives of Euro Stoxx 50 firms.

Newspaper Der Standard, which also reported the repayment, said the measure followed uproar at the group over the fact that Stepic would earn nearly €5m in the midst of a financial crisis and after the group received Austrian state aid.