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THE S$18 million hongbao given to 18,000 DBS employees came from senior managers' bonus pool, said Peter Seah, chairman of DBS Group Holdings, on Thursday.
As a result the special bonus did not increase the bank's costs, he said at the bank's annual shareholders meeting.
Answering a question on the S$18 million bonus, Mr Seah said the gesture was much appreciated by employees and increased "bonding" among all staff.
DBS in February said it would give S$1,000 to each employee to celebrate SG50 and also for reaching S$50 billion in market capitalisation. The S$1,000 hongbao was announced after the bank released its full year 2014 results.
For 2014, net profit - including one-time items - rose to a record S$4.05 billion, up 10 per cent from FY2013's and double that of 2009. Excluding one-time items, net profit rose 10 per cent to S$3.85 billion.
South-east Asia's largest bank said S$1,000 would be given to each of its 18,000 employees. Those who will get the hongbao will be vice-presidents and below. In Singapore, some 10,000 staff will get the money. DBS has in total 21,000 staff.
In its annual report, DBS revealed that the aggregated total remuneration for 19 of its most senior managers (excluding chief executive Piyush Gupta) in 2014 amounted to S$53 million.
Mr Gupta received S$10.12 million, up 10 per cent from 2013's S$9.2 million.
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