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Vietnamese bank CEO can earn up to 20 billion dong a year   2011-07-27 - Viet Nam Net

Bank chief executive officers (CEOs) are believed to be the people who have the highest salaries in Vietnam. A CEO reportedly earns 20 billion dong a year.

There are about 50 operational joint stock banks in Vietnam and the same number of bank CEOs.

Sky high salaries for bankers

In mid 2010, the head hunting market was stirred up when L joint stock bank, which has been operational for several years, reportedly offered the sky high salary of 1.5 million dollars a year (over 30 billion dong) to the candidate for the CEO post. The candidate was considered one of the two most brilliant names in the banking world.

The information has been confirmed by the deputy chair of the bank recently. “It is true that we were ready to pay 1.5 million dollars a year to invite one of the two most excellent CEOs, but regrettably, they refused our invitation,” he said.

Commenting about the deal, the deputy chair said that the salary level offered by his bank was 3-4 times higher than the salary the CEO earned at that time. However, he admitted that his bank was smaller in scale, and weaker in influences to the banking sector, and that his bank had fewer advantages than other rivals.

Meanwhile, the CEO, who got the invitation, said frankly: “I would like to work for foreign bank rather than a Vietnamese bank”.

Finally, the above said bank decided to choose a CEO, who once worked as deputy general director of a state owned bank. To date, the management work has been mainly undertaken by the board of directors. Of course, the salary the new CEO gets is just a little higher than the one he got when working for the state owned bank.

In principle, the salaries of bank CEOs, except state owned banks, have never been made public. The salaries vary based on the negotiations between banks’ owners and the CEOs.

In general, there are three main salary levels for joint stock bank CEOs. The highest salary level has been offered to the CEO of T joint stock bank, who earns one million dollars a year, or 1.6 billion dong a month.

The second highest level is applied to good CEOs who have good reputations on the market. The CEOs earn 20-30,000 dollars a month, or 400-600 million dong.

The third, the most popular salary level, is being applied to smaller banks, about 10,000 dollars a month, or 200 million dong.

Meanwhile, the CEOs of small and less well known banks have modest incomes of between tens and 100 million dong a month.

Earlier this year, a report about the salaries and incomes of joint stock banks’ CEOs was made. The reported incomes were high enough to catch the attention from competent agencies. The State Bank of Vietnam has also considered the report.

Opinions from well informed circle said that the report does not truly reflect the actual incomes of CEOs. Besides the fixed salary incomes, they can earn extra income from shares and other sources.

CEOs don’t have time to spend money

Currently, besides the fixed salaries, banks also offer bonuses to CEO depending on the annual profits the banks can earn.

It is clear that high income always means hard pressure. “If you are a bank CEO, you have to “eat and sleep” with the bank. It is quite normal if you have to go to the office early and return home late,” a bank CEO said.

“Even when you are at home, you still need to listen to the news about the market. In general, capital sources, interest rates, services, competition and clients are the things that occupy all the space in you mind,” he added.

When asked why he does not assign some works to secretaries, the CEO said that he wants to access information himself, so that he can make timely and right decisions.

When talking about the pressure of the job, a CEO who receives hundreds of millions of dong a month admitted that he is so busy that he does not have time to spend money.

“I spend most of my time on meetings, discussions, work. I have to sleep on the north-south flights. I have to always think about what to do to fulfill the business plans,” he said. “We have just reviewed the business in the first six months of the year. I just can sigh with relief when we have obtained our goals”.

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