Westpac CEO Gets $9.6M Pay Packet, Supports More Interest Rate Cuts in 2013
By Vittorio Hernandez | December 14, 2012 9:42 AM EST
Westpac shareholders approved on Thursday a $9.6 million compensation package for the bank's chief executive, Gail Kelly. Over 88 per cent of stockholders gave the green light for the pay packet.
With the shareholder approval, Ms Kelly is the second-highest-paid chief executive in Australia after ANZ Chief Executive Mike Smith who got a $9.7 million compensation package.
Their pay packets are higher than those of BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers and Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese.
One shareholder, however, found Ms Kelly's salary too much, prompting Westpac Chairman Lindsay Maxsted to defend the packet as fair and at about the same level as its competitors in the same industry.
"I'm the first to acknowledge that it is a lot of money, we don't shy away from that at all. But we work very hard to see that it is market drive, we work very hard to ensure it rewards performance. The fact is they are big numbers, but Westpac is a very big and complex business," Mr Maxsted said in a statement.
If Ms Kelly's paycheck would become fatter, she, in turn, is in favour of cutting interest rates in 2013 to address business and consumer subdued confidence. She foresees the rate cuts coming in February or March.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced the overnight cash rate by 25 basis points which brought it down to 3 per cent. Two days after the RBA decision, Westpac, National Australia Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced they would pocket 5 basis points and pass on to borrowers the 20 basis points.
ANZ is scheduled to announce its decision on Friday, Dec 14, although it is expected to follow the three banks' move.
Despite their similar decisions, Ms Kelly denied there is collusion among the big four.
"Each bank is very clearly making its own decision. If you look at any period of announcements very often there are differences. This particular one happened to have major banks coming in with a similar number or the same number, but that's just circumstance," Ms Kelly said.
As early as mid-2012, Westpac has been supporting interest rate cuts.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kristen Stewart Moving On With Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence Dating Chris Martin – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- ISIS: More Journalists Beheading To Come After James Foley and Steven Sotloff [Video]
- Moto X+1 is Likely Nexus 6 Template; Motorola Shamu is 1st Android Silver with Snapdragon 810 – Reports
- ISIS Posts Graphic Beheading Video of US Journalist James Foley
- James Foley’s Executioner Has British Accent—A Chilling Reminder That ISIS Has Foreign Members
- Nexus 6 Release Date Dilemma with Motorola Shamu Details Pointing to Better Smartphone and Killer Features
- iPhone 6 Release Date Remains On Course for Sept-Oct 2014 as Apple Delays iWatch Debut to 2015