State-run bank bosses may be first to face big pay cuts
Updated: 2014-08-29 08:37
China's "big five" banks are likely to be the first targets of the salary-reduction reform for top executives at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) being pushed by the government, the Shanghai-based China Business News said on Thursday.
In all likelihood, top executives at China Industrial and Commercial Bank, China Construction Bank, China Agricultural Bank, Bank of China and People's Bank of China will face pay cuts first among the country's SOE executives, a bank insider told the newspaper.
The Agricultural Bank of China's president Zhang Yun has became the first among the big five state banks to openly advocate the reform. The bank "will firmly support and strictly implement the decision," Zhang said at the bank's half-year performance press conference on Tuesday.
The bank insider said there has been growing panic among the big five banks' senior and middle-level leaders.
Rumors have said that China Construction Bank has been preparing a pay-cut plan to decrease the salaries of presidents by 50 percent, department heads by 30 percent, and staff by 10 percent. That has not been confirmed.
However, the cuts might be as high as 70 percent, and that a cap of 600,000 yuan ($100,000) could be imposed on executives' annual salaries, according to media reports.
A mid-level executive of one state bank complained to reporters that their salaries are less than the country's joint-equity commercial banks and foreign-invested ones.
Statistics show that in 2013, Ping An Bank topped the list for annual salaries of top executives, followed by Mingsheng Bank and China Merchants Bank.
The performance-related pay of top executives should be kept lower than triple their basic pay, and payment of at least 40 percent of this part should be delayed by more than three years, according to the regulation by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
One mid-level executive worried that the pay cuts would reduce the banks' ability to attract talent.
Experts involved in formulating the pay-cut plan say it has long been controversial for the top executives of SOEs to receive annual incomes of millions of yuan, while also enjoying the privileges of ranking officials.
President Xi Jinping said last week that unreasonably high salaries for major SOE executives must be adjusted, and urged them to have a strong sense of responsibility and sense of devotion.
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