ING Raises Salary of CEO Hamers by 50 percent
Dutch financial services corporation ING received critical reactions for proposing on March 8th, 2018 to increase the salary of its CEO Ralph Hamers by 50% to €3m in 2018.
Newspapers, reflecting the sentiment of the man in the street, are horrified at what they see as pure excess in a calvinistic country. They find most Dutch political parties and Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra on their side. According to them multinational banking and financial services corporation ING is a system bank and was saved with Dutch tax money during the 2008 financial crisis. It is hard to justify such salary increases to the voters / tax payers.
Compensation experts argue the new salary figure is still really low compared to what a comparable bank CEO command in the US or UK. ING said that Hamers has been underpaid for years in comparison with comparable bank CEOs abroad. To attract and keep top executives, it is crucial to offer them competitive renumeration packages.
On one hand, the anger about the salary increase of ING CEO Ralph Hamers is understandable. On the other hand, such anger is naive and detrimental both for ING and the business climate for multinationals in The Netherlands.
Source: Reuters, Mar 8th, 2018.