Top pay under fire at Standard Chartered bank

Marion Dakers
STANDARD Chartered is heading for a bust-up over how much it pays its top staff, after investor advisory group Pirc advised its members to vote down the bank’s remuneration report.

The bank plans to pay out $92.1m (£56.6m) to its top 13 staff, which includes five board members, for last year.

Pirc is thought to have told StanChart shareholders that the bank’s pay targets are skewed towards short-term performance and bonus payments.

It has said shareholders should vote down the bank’s pay plans as part of a protest vote against the entire annual report, to raise concerns over corporate governance, at the firm’s shareholder meeting on 9 May.

Chief executive Peter Sands is in line for more than $8m altogether, including $2.1m in deferred shares and $2.7m in performance-related share awards.

Meanwhile head of wholesale banking Mike Rees is to be awarded $13.8m for last year – slightly lower than the $14.1m he was paid in 2010.

Standard Chartered notched up a ninth consecutive year of record earnings in 2011. The firm, which makes more than three quarters of its profit in Asia, posted an annual pre-tax profit of $6.8bn in February.

A spokesperson for the bank said this financial track record shows a commitment to long-term performance.

The Association of British Insurers, which also advises investors on corporate governance issues, said it was offering members no comment on Standard Chartered’s annual report.

Rival bank Barclays last week suffered a bloody nose over its pay plans, with 27 per cent of shareholders voting down its remuneration report.