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Wee Cho Yaw paid $1m in fees, down 67%

[SINGAPORE] Wee Cho Yaw, chairman emeritus of United Overseas Bank, was paid $1 million in fees for 2013, around 67 per cent less than the $2.75 million to $3 million he received the previous year.

Mr Wee's fees consisted of $800,000 in advisory fees, $255,000 in directors' fees and $7,000 in others, according to UOB's 2013 annual report released yesterday.

Chairman Hsieh Fu Hua, who assumed the position on April 25 last year, received $619,000.

Chief executive Wee Ee Cheong received $9.2 million, about 2 per cent more than the $8.75-9 million for 2012.

The Wee family own almost 18 per cent of UOB, which last year delivered record results with net earnings at $3.01 billion, an increase of 7.3 per cent over 2012.

DBS Group Holdings chairman Peter Seah earned $1.84 million, an 84 per cent jump from 2012, according to the bank's annual report published on Tuesday.

DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta's 2013 take-home pay dipped to $9.2 million from $9.33 million in 2012.

DBS, too, had a record 2013. Its net profit reached $3.5 billion excluding one-off items, up 4 per cent from the previous year.

OCBC Bank has yet to publish its 2013 annual report.

Giving an update on its regional strategy performance, UOB said that its regional franchise continued to deliver as regional markets' profit grew by 6.5 per cent in 2013, outpacing the returns in Singapore. Overseas profit contribution to the group rose to 39.1 per cent, up 6.3 percentage points from 32.8 per cent.

"While the two major trends of increasing intra-regional trade and rising consumer wealth are fuelling our current stage of growth, our solid results would not have been possible without the determination to execute well against our regional strategy," said Mr Wee Ee Cheong in his message to shareholders.

"In the process, we remain aware of, and are responsive to, the complexities of operating across different markets.

"In 2013, we strengthened our transaction banking, commodity financing and investment banking capabilities to serve our customers' growing and diverse business needs."

UOB set up foreign direct investment advisory units in nine countries to offer businesses dedicated services to help them realise their regional ambitions across markets, he revealed.

The bank is also reaching out to the region's wealthy. "We have harnessed our insight and experience to offer wealth management and other financial solutions appropriate for Asian consumers."

In 2013, UOB increased assets under management (AUM) from $66 billion to $75 billion, and is on track to achieve its AUM target of $100 billion by 2015.

It has extended an international property financing programme to help customers broaden their investment portfolio as they look beyond their home markets.

UOB has established 48 dedicated wealth management centres across the region, 12 of them in Singapore. It has a new privilege banking centre in one of the most iconic buildings located on the Bund in Shanghai.