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StanChart CEO, CFO take pension cuts after shareholder protest

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By Reuters
StanChart CEO, CFO take pension cuts after shareholder protest
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Standard Chartered is displayed at the financial Central district in Hong Kong, China November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo   -   Copyright  Bobby Yip(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered <STAN.L> said on Friday that the pension allowances for its chief executive and chief financial officer will be halved from January following a shareholder protest.

Bill Winters and Andy Halford have agreed to have their pension allowances cut from 20% to 10% of their salary, putting them in line with the rest of the bank’s workforce in Britain.

Bank executives in Britain have been criticised by investors for giving their executives more favourable pension arrangements than the rest of their employees.

In May 36% of votes cast at Standard Chartered’s annual shareholder meeting were against its remuneration report, which had recommended that Winters receive a pension allowance in 2019 of 474,000 pounds ($607,000), on top of his fixed salary in cash and shares of 2.4 million pounds.

Winters had previously defended his pension arrangements, calling investors that voted against his allowance “immature and unhelpful” in an interview this summer with the Financial Times.

But StanChart said in a statement on Friday that taking investors’ views into consideration, its remuneration committee had concluded that the bank should make the changes to avoid “distraction” from delivering the bank’s business strategy.

“This aligns the executive directors’ pension arrangement with UK employees of Standard Chartered from the start of 2020,” it said.

The changes mean that in 2020 Winters’ pension allowance will drop to 237,000 pounds and Halford’s to 147,000 pounds. This will reduce the maximum bonus the pair can receive by 8%, since their bonuses are capped at 200% of their fixed pay.

($1 = 0.7804 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones and Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Dale Hudson)