Germany's Postbank chief offers to work for a euro

16th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Klein was the highest paid executive last year and of his pay of more than 3.3 million euros, 2.4 million came from a bonus.

Berlin -- German Postbank boss Wolfgang Klein is ready to work for a symbolic euro this year after he made more than 3.3 million in 2008 despite his company's hefty losses, according to local media reports.

"I will suggest to the Postbank board that I'll work for one euro this year," he told the tabloid Bild. "I want to make it clear that in the current situation only the bank counts and not my personal interest."

Postbank directors were paid an average of 54 percent more last year, amounts contained in its annual report showed on Monday.

The bank's 10 board members received a total of 16.2 million euros (20.5 million dollars) owing to an exceptional bonus of 11.9 million decided in May.

The bonus was meant to retain directors as Deutsche Bank, the biggest German bank, bought a 30 percent stake in Postbank, which has Germany's biggest retail banking network.

In 2007, the Postbank board received total pay of 10.5 million euros.

Klein was the highest paid executive last year. Of his pay of more than 3.3 million euros, 2.4 million came from the bonus.

Board members did not receive an annual bonus linked to performance however, as Postbank posted a net loss of 821 million euros.

Der Spiegel news magazine reported that Klein justified the bonus saying it was paid for having "worked nights and weekends."

Postbank last year posted its first net loss of 821 million euros.

Bosses' salaries are a recurrent theme of debate in Germany and Klein had said last month that "we must put an end to this witch hunt".

In October, Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann decided to forego his annual bonus owing to effects of the financial crisis.

The board of number two Commerzbank did likewise in November after it asked for state aid.


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