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SPDB titled best paymaster among listed commercial banks
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Listed Chinese commercial banks outperformed their State-owned peers last year in terms of pay package. Among these the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) was the biggest paymaster with annual per-capita pay packets exceeding 456,000 yuan.

This is the second time that SPDB is leading the rankings for annual employee payment among the 14 listed domestic banks. China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd and China Citic Bank are second and third with pay packets of 398,000 and 346,000 yuan respectively.

Shenzhen Development Bank, the only listed lender with a negative net profit growth last year, posted a 4 percent increase in employee salary, despite a 70 percent drop in net profit.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market capitalization, in sharp contrast, was the lowest paymaster in 2008, at 130,000 yuan followed by two other State-owned lenders, the Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank.

In total, 13 out of the 14 publicly traded domestic banks registered an average 12.3 percent year-on-year growth in average personnel income for the past year.

Alex Guo, analyst, Adecco, a Swiss human resources management firm, said the ongoing economic crisis has given a boost to China's domestic banks, which so far have not been affected as much as their foreign counterparts by large scale layoffs and wage cuts.

"There is a positive correlation between company earnings and staff payment. It is no surprise that SPDB tops the salary rank among banks, in light of its higher net profit compared with its domestic peers," said Liu Jun, analyst, Changjiang Securities. SPDB posted 12.5 billion yuan in net profit last year, a 127.6 percent year-on-year increase.

"There are several factors that may influence a bank's payroll, including its earnings, share prices, staff numbers, and overall, company strategies which indicate its willingness to share profit with the employees," Guo said.

"Commercial banks in China do need to offer greater salary incentives to help attract talent," he said.

He added, however, that average employee salary couldn't speak for the overall business performance of a bank.

"Take ICBC for example. It has one of the country's largest outlet networks and work force, which may possibly result in less per capita payment for its employees," he said.

(China Daily May 6, 2009)

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