DBS Chief takes 30% pay cut for disruptive outages

Logo of DBS.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

DBS has announced that its Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta is set to take a 30% pay cut for a series of disruptive outages last year.

Members of the bank’s management committee saw their compensation slashed by 21% from the previous year despite publishing record profits, with Gupta hit the hardest by 30% pay cut.

This punishment follows widespread outages that happened in March 2023, which led to many of its customers being unable to use the digibank online and mobile services as well as several reports that ATMs were found to be non-operational.

At the time of the outages, Gupta apologised to the bank’s customers and said that he felt embarrassed during its Annual General Meeting.

Following the outages, an independent investigation into the March 2023 downtime identified shortcomings in system resilience, incident management, change management and technology risk governance and oversight.

As a result of the disruptions, Singapore’s central bank imposed additional capital requirements on DBS in May. In addition, a six-month hiatus on non-essential IT services was also imposed, following the aforementioned investigation.

Delving deeper, in 2022 Gupta received $15.4m, comprising a salary of $1.5m, a cash bonus of $5.77 million and deferred remuneration in cash and shares of $8.04m. According to the bank’s earning report, this year the CEO will receive $4.14m.

In a statement the bank said: “These efforts will enable the bank to better pre-empt disruptions to its services, provide customers with alternate channels for payments and account enquiries during disruptions, and shorten incident recovery time. Going forward, the bank will continue with its investments to sustain efforts to provide reliable services to customers.”

DBS participated in ‘Project Guardian’, which aimed to pave the way for deeper cooperation between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the financial sector to explore various decentralisation and tokenization use cases.