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Singapore’s top bank CEO slashes pay by $3 million amidst outage.

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TLDR:

  • DBS Group CEO, Piyush Gupta, has taken a $3 million pay cut due to digital banking disruptions in Singapore.
  • Last year’s outages affected payment and ATM transactions across the city-state, leading to a 30% reduction in Gupta’s compensation.
  • DBS Group Holdings’ fourth-quarter profit fell short of analyst expectations, while 2023 results hit a record.
  • DBS is the first major Singapore bank to report results, with rivals United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp set to report later this month.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore had previously banned DBS from acquiring new business ventures and reducing local branch and ATM networks for six months following the disruptions.

DBS Group Holdings’ CEO, Piyush Gupta, has experienced a $3 million pay cut due to digital banking disruptions in Singapore. Last year, outages affected payment and ATM transactions across the city-state, resulting in a 30% reduction in Gupta’s compensation. DBS reported that its fourth-quarter profit fell short of analyst expectations, with net profit rising 2% to S$2.39 billion ($1.78 billion) in the three months ended December 31. However, this came in below the average estimate of S$2.44 billion by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Last year’s disruptions impacted the variable pay for DBS’ group management committee, resulting in a collective 21% reduction from the previous year. Gupta’s compensation took a deeper hit, with a 30% reduction amounting to S$4.1 million. He stated that the pay cut was a sign of accountability and good governance. DBS is the first major Singapore bank to report its results, indicating that its robust performance, driven by elevated interest rates, may have peaked as rates are expected to decline this year. Rivals United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp will report their results later in February.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore had previously banned DBS from acquiring new business ventures and reducing local branch and ATM networks for six months following last year’s disruptions. This action was taken after repeated and prolonged disruptions of DBS’ online banking services. Gupta publicly apologized to customers and assured them that the bank was addressing the issues with utmost priority. DBS has stated that customers can expect greater service reliability going forward, as well as alternative channels for payments and inquiries should any further issues occur.

Under Gupta’s leadership since November 2009, DBS has expanded its operations in India, Taiwan, and mainland China through acquisitions and organic growth. He has also strengthened the bank’s wealth management business, making it one of the largest in Asia in terms of assets under management. For 2023, the bank’s net profit exceeded S$10 billion, surpassing its medium-term target. Gupta believes that despite expected softer interest rates and persistent geopolitical tensions, DBS should sustain its performance in the coming year.

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