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10 November 2019
WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Standard Chartered slashes CEO pension after shareholder row

StanChart stated that most of the bank’s investors wish to see the concerns of other shareholders in relation to pension allowances resolved, while supporting the overall pay package for executive directors.

Bloomberg/Anthony Kwan


Standard Chartered halved the pension money the bank hands to Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters after months of pressure from investors, reported Bloomberg.

In a statement, the Asia-focused lender cut the retirement allowance for Winters and Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford from 20 per cent of their annual salary to 10 per cent, putting the figure in line with benefits offered to other employees.

More than a third of the London-based bank’s shareholders failed to support its pay policy at a vote in May 2019. British firms are being pressed to make their pension policies more egalitarian, with the UK Corporate Governance Code recommending that awards for top employees stay close to those for rank-and-file staff.

Winters’ pension allowance will fall 50 per cent from GBP 474,000 ($607,336) a year to GBP 237,000 from the start of next year. Halford’s allowance will fall from GBP 294,000 to GBP 147,000, the reduction will result in an eight per cent cut to the duo’s fixed pay.

Standard Chartered said it had consulted with investors representing about 60 per cent of its shares.

The bank’s stock is down about 30 per cent since Winters took over four years ago and began grappling with issues ranging from a bloated cost base to government probes. Winters’ efforts have helped the bank put the worst behind it and its shares have rallied 20 per cent in 2019.

Investors including Schroders and Aberdeen Standard Investments, both among the bank’s 20 biggest shareholders, welcomed Standard Chartered’s announcement.


RELATED STORIES: UK CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CODE BILL WINTERS STANDARD CHARTERED

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