Annual salary of $100 mn is too much for a banker: Pandit
New York: Financial services provider Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit has said an annual compensation of USD 100 million is too much for a bank employee to earn.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Pandit was talking in reference to a query on the compensation of Andrew Hall, Citigroup`s star commodities trader who received USD 98.9 million in 2008.
The report said, when asked whether the USD 100 million in annual compensation was excessive, Pandit answered "Yes".
Pandit, who was answering a group of audience which included Citigroup employees, said "Citigroup employees need to be paid competitively".
Besides, Pandit said that the company is "in the process of" restructuring Phibro LLC, Citi`s oil trading unit which is led by Andrew Hall.
Quoting people familiar with the situation, the WSJ report said, "Citigroup is considering a spin-off of Phibro so that the trader no longer is subject to pay restrictions and government scrutiny triggered by taxpayer-funded aid".
Meanwhile, escessive bank remuneration was at the centre of discussions at the EU leaders dinner in Brussels last night. "It is offensive to the public whose taxpayer`s money in different ways has helped (keep) banks from collapsing and is now underpinning their recovery," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.
Following the credit-crunch which triggered the fall of many banks, the US government had purchased a significant stake in Citigroup, bailing it out from the mounting losses due to toxic assets.
Earlier this year, Pandit had himself said he would take a token annual compensation of one dollar and no bonuses till the bank returns to profitability.
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