Standard Chartered executives' pensions slashed after protest

Shareholders in the British bank demanded that the pension allowances of the CEO and chief financial officer be halved.

    The reduction in Standard Chartered CEO and CFO's pension allowances brings them in line with the bank's UK employees [File: Bobby Yip/Reuters]
    The reduction in Standard Chartered CEO and CFO's pension allowances brings them in line with the bank's UK employees [File: Bobby Yip/Reuters]

    Standard Chartered has said that the pension allowances for its chief executive and chief financial officer will be halved from January following a shareholder protest.

    Bill Winters and Andy Halford have agreed to have their pension allowances cut from 20 percent to 10 percent of their salary, the statement on Friday said, putting them in line with the rest of the British bank's workforce in the United Kingdom.

    More:

    Bank executives in the UK have been criticised by investors for giving their executives more favourable pension arrangements than the rest of their employees.

    In May, 36 percent of votes cast at Standard Chartered's annual shareholder meeting were against its remuneration report, which had recommended that Winters receive a pension allowance in 2019 of 474,000 pounds ($607,000), on top of his fixed salary in cash and shares of 2.4 million pounds ($3.1m).

    Winters had previously defended his pension arrangements, calling investors that voted against his allowance "immature and unhelpful" in an interview this summer with the Financial Times.

    But StanChart said on Friday that, taking investors' views into consideration, its remuneration committee had concluded that the bank should make the changes to avoid "distraction" from delivering the bank's business strategy.

    "This aligns the executive directors' pension arrangement with UK employees of Standard Chartered from the start of 2020," it said.

    The changes mean that, in 2020, Winters's pension allowance will drop to 237,000 pounds ($304,000) and Halford's to 147,000 pounds ($188,360). This will reduce the maximum bonus the pair can receive by eight percent, since their bonuses are capped at 200 percent of their fixed pay. 

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency