21 February 2019
ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing is set to get a pay cut. Photo: Bloomberg
ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing is set to get a pay cut. Photo: Bloomberg

You won’t believe what ICBC chairman is making

Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., earned less than 2 percent of Jamie Dimon’s compensation last year while reporting twice the profit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Instead of a reward, Jiang is poised for a pay cut.

China’s government said last month it will reduce salaries for executives at state-owned companies because “unreasonably high” incomes have become a source of public discontent.

The biggest banks have pledged to implement the plans, part of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to bolster support by tackling government waste and corruption.

The nation’s five largest lenders — ICBC, China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of Communications Co. — paid their combined 1.7 million employees an average of 230,300 yuan (US$37,500) in salaries, bonuses and benefits in 2013, according to data compiled from annual reports.

That is a large gap compared with foreign firms.

JPMorgan spent an average of US$122,700 in employee salaries and benefits globally, while at HSBC Holdings, the largest European bank, the amount was US$71,400, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jiang, 61, earned 2 million yuan last year in salary, bonus and benefits as head of the world’s biggest bank by assets and profit.

That is equivalent to about US$326,000, or 1.6 percent of the US$20 million in total compensation for Dimon, 58, who is chairman and chief executive of New York-based JPMorgan, the largest US lender by assets.

Agricultural Bank president Zhang Yun said on August 26 that the Beijing-based lender will “unswervingly support and strictly implement” any pay cuts.

Zhang was paid 1.79 million yuan in 2012. His 2013 compensation is yet to be disclosed. 

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