What's the most you can expect to get paid at Standard Chartered? Today's fourth quarter results from the bank that's headquartered in London, but that has a significant presence in Asia, and which therefore falls under two sets of regulatory reporting rules, are fairly specific: the highest earner at Standard Chartered outside the management committee, earned nearly $12m (HK$91.5m) last year. This was $1.1m more than in 2020. The person, who is unnamed, is based in Hong Kong.
It's not just Standard Chartered's highest performer who earned more for 2021. After cutting bonuses in 2020, Standard Chartered says it increased bonuses for everyone. It had ample reason to do so, particularly in the investment bank: pre-tax profits in the corporate, commercial and institutional banking division were up 70%.
For Standard Chartered's material risk-takers (defined as employees earning £658/$894k or more, and leading businesses), this meant average total compensation (salary plus bonus) per head rose to its highest level for three years at $979k. This was up nearly 33% on the average for 2020. The increase was driven by a nearly 55% rise in the average bonus.
It meant, too, that 30 more people earned over €1m/$1.14m, although Standard Chartered still paid fewer people seven figures than in 2019.
Standard Chartered doesn't break out bonuses for the mass of its employees, but they were presumably up too. The only bad news is that Standard Chartered appears to have been trimming some staff: despite a good year in 2021, it ended with 178 fewer material risk takers than it had before.
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