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DBS CEO Piyush Gupta gets 15.5% pay hike to S$11.9m for 2018

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DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta enjoyed a 15.5 per cent pay rise to S$11.9 million for 2018, making it his best year, according to bank's latest annual report out on Thursday.

DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta enjoyed a 15.5 per cent pay rise to S$11.9 million for 2018, making it his best year, according to bank's latest annual report out on Thursday.

Out of his total remuneration, Mr Gupta saw increases in his cash bonus and share plan to S$4.5 million and S$6.1 million respectively, on top of salary of S$1.2 million, unchanged from the previous year. Other remuneration representing non-cash components comprising club, car and driver was marginally down at S$62,527.

In 2017, Mr Gupta earned S$10.3 million, up 23 per cent as South-east Asia’s biggest bank saw wealth management income quadrupling while net profit increased four per cent to a record S$4.39 billion. But in 2016, his pay fell 23 per cent to S$8.4 million as profits slipped on bad debts from its oil and gas loans. Mr Gupta's previous best pay year was in 2015 when he took home S$10.9 million.

For 2018, DBS saw total income hit a new high of S$13.2 billion while net profit rose 28 per cent to a record S$5.63 billion. Return on equity (ROE) was at 12.1 per cent, a level last seen in 2007, the bank said in its annual report.

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2018 was also the year the bank evolved its decade-old positioning as “Living, Breathing Asia” to “Live more, Bank less” to showcase its shift to being digital to the core. In the annual report’s letter from DBS chairman Peter Seah and Mr Gupta, the company said good progress has been made in this shift.

As at end 2018, over 80 per cent of its open systems were cloud-ready, up from 66 per cent in 2017, said DBS. Last year, the bank also continued to build on its API (application programming interface) platform launched in 2017, and now has over 350 APIs enabling third-party brands to integrate its technologies to make banking simpler.

On the data front, the company established an analytics centre of excellence and trained over 10,000 of its employees on a data-driven curriculum, along with developing a framework on responsible data usage, according to the annual report.

The bank also launched marketplaces on its website, allowing it to sell cars, property and electricity. Its car marketplace attracted more than a half million unique visits since its August 2017 launch, while its property marketplace generated more than S$300 million in home loan requests within 12 months.

The bank also struck more than 25 partnerships regionally in both consumer banking and institutional banking. This includes Gojek, Carousell, and credit underwriting partners like Experian, Perfios and Perfindo.

In its annual report, DBS said it continues to see an increase in customer acquisition through digital channels. In the region, one in five new mortgages was acquired online in 2018, up from one in 25 a year ago. In Hong Kong, one in three SME accounts was opened online, compared to one in four the year prior.