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... But who is the mysterious banker with the €13m prize?

Standard Chartered pay: the most millionaires since 2019

Standard Chartered’s annual report for 2022 was released today, and the results are… Somewhat surprising.

The London-based and Asia-focused bank performed pretty darn well in 2022. On a constant currency basis, pre-tax profit in the corporate and investment bank rose 38% year-on-year, fuelled by strength in macro trading (up 40%) and transaction banking (up 80%). The amount Standard Chartered paid its highest earners also shot up – although the number of these high earners (called Material Risk Takers, or MRTs) declined slightly.

A “material risk taker” is defined as an employee who has a “material impact on the risk impact of the firm”, and at Standard Chartered that refers to a variety of shot callers at the bank, as well as “traders and senior colleagues in financial markets” who earn more than £660k ($796k).

Although the number of MRTs at the bank fell from 608 to 580, around 5%, the average compensation of those MRTs rose from $979k to $1.1m. The pay rise was driven in large part by the 22% increase in variable compensation (bonuses), as average fixed salaries in fact fell slightly.

The number of Standard Chartered employees earning over €1m ($1.1m) also increased significantly – from 175 to 250, an increase of 43%. It’s even higher than the pre-pandemic high of 199 reported at the start of 2020 (when legislation came into place that obliged banks to post information about MRTs).

The bank also paid one person a sum over €13m ($13.9m), a sum significantly higher than CEO Bill Winter’s £5.5m ($6.6m) pay for the year. It didn’t identify who exactly got the spectacular package, but a clue might be found in the investment bank, which paid out significantly more to its MRTs than the bank did on average.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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