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Executive pay

August 7, 2009

Despite suffering from the effects of the global economic crisis and after receiving state aid to stay afloat, some German banks are still paying their top managers extremely high salaries, according to a TV report.

A man passes bank notes to another
WestLB is said to have paid its execs millions in salariesImage: BilderBox.com

A German television program revealed on Thursday that members of the board of the WestLB bank had been paid annual salaries in excess of one million euros ($1.4 million), while the new boss of the Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), Hans-Joerg Vetter, was reported to be paid a salary of over 500,000 euros.

In its financial rescue package, the German government put a 500,000-euro limit on salaries for board of director members and said bonuses would not be paid at institutes that receive federal bailout funds.

WestLB had received 100 million euros in state aid from the North Rhine-Westphalia treasury, which also supports the bank with an additional security of two billion euros, public broadcaster ARD's "Panorama" program said.

In Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state parliament gave a five-billion-euro boost to the LBBW on the condition that it limited managers' salaries to 500,000 euros as long as the bank maintained a negative balance sheet.

Media reports that leading executives at Dresdner Bank were paid millions of euros in bonuses sparked a debate earlier in the year in Germany about managers' payments. Dresdner was taken over by Commerzbank, which has also received billions in state aid.


Editor: Nancy Isenson