KARACHI: The CEO of United Bank is the highest-paid banker in Pakistan, as his annual remuneration clocked up at a whopping Rs246.5 million in 2014.

The UBL CEO’s annual remuneration package roughly translates into a compensation of over Rs20 million per month. Wajahat Husain took over as UBL CEO on June 1, 2014, as Atif Bokhari resigned his position to lead NIB Bank.

A review of 2014 financial accounts of 30 banks carried out by The Express Tribune shows that the UBL CEO also received the highest annual raise in the entire banking industry last year: his remuneration package ballooned by 78.2% in 2014 over the preceding year.

This makes the position of the UBL CEO unusually rewarding even by the standards of the banking industry. In fact, his annual remuneration is greater than the net profit of Summit Bank, which is categorised among mid-size banks and had total assets of over Rs148 billion in 2014.

As opposed to an increment of over 78% in the UBL CEO’s remuneration, the net profit of UBL went up by 17.8% to Rs21.9 billion in 2014. Similarly, UBL’s stock rose by 33.3% on the Karachi Stock Exchange during the same year. UBL is the largest bank in the country in terms of profitability after Habib Bank (Rs31.1 billion) and MCB Bank (Rs24.3 billion).

CEOs of 21 out of 30 banks saw their paycheques become fatter in 2014. Eight bank CEOs received a cut in their remuneration while the annual compensation of the Summit Bank CEO remained flat in 2014.

KASB Bank and Burj Bank have not published their 2014 financial accounts yet. HSBC Pakistan has merged with Meezan Bank while the financial accounts of Bank of Tokyo and Bank of Oman were not available.

Others in the list

With Rs133.4 million in remuneration, the CEO of NIB Bank was the country’s second highest-paid banker in 2014. He was followed by the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, whose annual compensation clocked up at Rs102.6 million last year.

CEOs of six largest banks received a raise in 2014, except that of Allied Bank, whose annual compensation dropped by 19.3% to Rs43.2 million in the same year.

Allied Bank posted the smallest increase in earnings (2.5%) among the six largest banks last year.

The biggest bank operating in Pakistan, Habib Bank, paid a total remuneration of Rs53.1 million to its CEO in 2014, which is 44.3% up from the compensation he received in the preceding year.

The largest cut was in the paycheque of the Faysal Bank CEO, whose yearly remuneration came down 46.3% to Rs48.8 million last year. This was despite the fact that Faysal Bank posted a substantial increase of 33.9% in its net profit in 2014.

Out of the 12 medium-size banks, CEOs of as many as five banks had their yearly remuneration go down in 2014. CEOs of Askari Bank, Bank AL Habib, Standard Chartered Bank and NIB Bank had their annual remuneration cut by 8.9%, 12.8%, 18.1% and 20.3%, respectively, last year.

Out of the 12 small banks, the remuneration of 10 CEOs increased during 2014 while that of two CEOs went down. The CEO of Bank Islami received a 32% cut in his total remuneration, although the net profit of his bank increased 69.3% to Rs313.6 million in the same year.

Among Islamic banks, Meezan Bank CEO Irfan Siddiqui received the highest compensation in 2014. His remuneration amounted to Rs61.1 million, which is up 20.6% from the preceding year.

Other banks whose CEOs received a significant increase in their annual compensation (in percentage terms) last year include MCB Bank (35.7%), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (48%), Deutsche Bank (33.5%), First Women Bank (77.1%) and SME Bank (72.5%).

The lowest-paid bank CEO in 2014 was that of Bank of Khyber. Despite receiving a raise of 51.6%, his total remuneration amounted to just Rs7.2 million last year.

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