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Aditya Puri remains top-paid bank CEO

Aditya Puri, who has led HDFC Bank since its inception 25 years ago, tops the earnings list.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 13, 2019, 09.01 AM IST
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Agencies
Aditya-Puri
Aditya Puri has led the bank — the most valuable lender in the country — since its inception 25 years ago.
HDFC Bank managing director Aditya Puri remained the highest paid bank chief executive in India with a monthly basic salary of Rs 89 lakh in FY19. Puri has led the bank — the most valuable lender in the country — since its inception 25 years ago.

Axis Bank CEO Amitabh Chaudhry, who took over the position in January, was second at a basic monthly salary of Rs 30 lakh. The bank ranks third in terms of assets among private sector banks. Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak was at number three with a monthly basic salary of Rs 27 lakh and ICICI Bank’s former boss Chanda Kochhar was at four in the list compiled from annual report data, having got Rs 26 lakh per month until her departure.

Her successor Sandeep Bakhshi earned an average Rs 22 lakh per month, ranking him at five. He became CEO in October, having taken over as chief operating officer (COO) in June when Kochhar moved out following a probe ordered by the board. IndusInd Bank’s Romesh Sobti, with an average Rs 16 lakh per month basic pay, ranked below Bakhshi.

CEO compensation at banks has come into focus over profitability and bad loans. In some cases, the Reserve Bank of India had to withhold approval for CEO bonuses. The regulator under former governor Urjit Patel was tough on executive pay and perks.

CEO-level pay depends on creating shareholder value and improving key performance parameters, said K Sudarshan, regional managing partner, Asia, EMA Partners, a global executive search firm.

“Besides base compensation, bonus and stock options also form an important part of CEO compensation,” he said. “In a way, the bank size does not determine the compensation but it all depends on creating shareholder value with focus on improving key parameters like return on capital employed (ROCE), net interest margin (NIM) etc.”

While the data has been compiled from annual reports, the compensation is not necessarily comparable, with at least two CEOs — Bakhshi and Chaudhry — taking charge at different points during the year. Bakhshi started as COO in June and became CEO in October. Chaudhry became CEO in January. The monthly numbers have been arrived at after dividing the annual amount given in the report by the number of months they have served the respective banks. Kochhar held the post until October 4.

In calculating pay, ET did not take into account perks and other privileges because these are treated differently by various banks.

Yes Bank Salaries
Yes Bank CEO Ravneet Gill and former CEO Rana Kapoor’s basic salaries have not been calculated because the bank gives a consolidated number including perquisites, contributions towards provident fund and medical reimbursement under the head of salary. Gill’s salary has been listed at Rs 59 lakh for March. Kapoor’s gross salary was Rs 6.48 crore for the 10 months ended January. Shikha Sharma earned an average Rs 24 lakh per month, less than her successor.
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