DBS CEO Piyush Gupta's 2022 Compensation Hits $15.4 Million Amid Bank's Stellar Year

SINGAPORE: The chief executive officer of DBS, Mr Piyush Gupta, had a 30 per cent variable pay cut amounting to S$4.14 million in 2023 due to a series of disruptions in its digital banking services last year.

“The Board determined that the variable compensation for the CEO and other members of the Group Management Committee should be cut to hold them accountable for the series of digital disruptions during the year,” the bank said on Wednesday (Feb 7).

In its quarterly earnings statement, DBS said that Mr Gupta and the members of the Group Management Committee had a 21 per cent reduction in variable pay.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Gupta took home S$15.4 million in 2022. This comprised S$1.5 million salary, S$5.77 million cash bonus, and S$8.04 million deferred remuneration in cash and shares. He also received a non-cash component worth S$80,529 for club, car, and driver benefits.

DBS’s digital services outages included customers losing access to electronic payment applications. Others were unable to withdraw money from ATMs. The disruption particularly affected overseas customers who could not access their funds.

See also  DBS & BOS are creditors to alleged money launderers’ Singapore firms

The inconvenience to customers was widely reported on the news and social media, with many expressing frustration over the matter.

Read related: DBS PayLah! Service Disruption Frustrates Customers Again

On Nov 1, 2023, in the wake of the outages, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ordered a six-month pause on DBS bank from making non-essential IT changes.

“DBS Bank will not be allowed to acquire new business ventures during this period or reduce the size of its branch and ATM networks in Singapore. The actions were taken following the repeated and prolonged disruptions of DBS’ banking services this year,” MAS said.

By Nov 3, DBS issued a public apology and said it would use an additional S$80 million to fortify its system resilience.

Mr Peter Seah, the bank’s chairman, publicly acknowledged that the service outages fell short of meeting customer expectations and the bank’s high standards and added that DBS’s senior management would be held accountable for these shortcomings. This accountability would be reflected in their remuneration.

See also  UOB, OCBC, and DBS introduce account lock features to protect clients from scammers

A few days later, on Nov 6, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said in Parliament that the impact of the DBS and Citibank services disruptions on Oct 14 affected around 2.5 million payments and ATM transactions, with another 810,000 attempts to access both banks’ digital banking platforms having failed.

On the same day, Mr Gupta said that four out of five major disruptions DBS experienced had been due to bug or software issues and underlined the need for effective change control and addressing bugs as technology systems become more complex.

In its Feb 6 statement, DBS also said that its junior employees will receive a one-time bonus in line with Singapore’s National Wages Council guidelines to help lower-income employees cope with higher living costs. This amounts to S$15 million and will benefit half of DBS Group’s total headcount. /TISG

Read also: MAS orders DBS, Citibank to account for severe service outages last week