Bank CEOs in Canada forego bonuses

February 3rd, 2009 - 9:32 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaToronto, Feb 3 (IANS) Even as their US counterparts have been slammed for their “shameful” behaviour by President Barack Obama for taking billions of dollars in bonuses, top Canadian bank CEOs have opted for big cuts in their packages amid the economic gloom.Gordon Nixon, CEO of the country’s topmost Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which reported 17 percent fall in its profit to $4.56 billion, has taken a 30 per cent cut in his bonus.

Nixon, who received bonus worth $5 million in 2006 and $4 million in 2007, had it reduced to $2.4 million in 2008.

However, his base salary of $1.4 million and restricted shares at $2.75 million remain intact.

Still, the topmost bank CEO took home $7,224,359 in 2008, down from $8,767,229 in 2007.

Rick Waugh, CEO of Scotiabank, also decided to cut his bonus from $1.6 million to $ 500,000, though his base salary of $1 million remained unchanged.

The overall package of the CEO of the country’s second largest bank still stood at $7.5 million, though it was 20 percent down from 2007.

Bank of Montreal (BMO), which one of the top Canadian banks, also announced Monday that its president and CEO Bill Downe has decided to forgo both his mid-term and long-term compensation of $4.1 million for 2008.

“While BMO delivered solid financial performance in 2008 - with close to $2 billion in net income - my decision to forego this compensation is a result of my reflection upon the current economic environment,” Downe said in a statement here.

Lauding the CEO for forgoing his compensation, Robert Astley, who heads the bank’s human resources and management compensation committee of the bank, said the bank “respects and accepts the strong signal of responsibility that Downe is sending with his decision at this time.”

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