Standard Chartered would risk a staff exodus if it cut bonuses, Chairman John Peace said on Wednesday, responding to investor anger over high pay when the bank's shares have tumbled and there will be no final dividend for 2015.
Reuters reports that at the bank's annual shareholder meeting, Peace was asked by one shareholder why Standard Chartered's overall incentive pool had only been trimmed by a fifth in 2015 while dividend payouts fell 83% and the bank reported a loss.
"...all I can say is if we were not to pay a bonus pool to junior staff and to managers who are highly marketable, we would not have a company," he said.
Some prominent investors have said they will vote against the bank's new pay policies, joining a wider revolt among shareholders over soaring executive pay levels at a number of British companies, including BP.
Royal London Asset Management has said it would vote against the 2015 remuneration report at Standard Chartered, criticising high pension policies which it said boosts the level of pay unrelated to performance.
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