Deutsche Bank Gives CEO Christian Sewing 46% Salary Hike in Year of Pandemic

Deutsche Bank paid CEO Christian Sewing 7.4 million euros ($8.8 million) in 2020, up 46% from a year earlier, as the bank eked out a profit after years of losses.

Bonuses at the bank were up 29% as it rewarded staff for a pandemic-related trading boom.

The disclosure in the bank's annual report on Friday came as Deutsche said revenue would be "marginally lower" this year.

In Germany, where the public deeply disapproves of high pay, the Verdi labour union called the payouts "grossly disproportionate".

Deutsche Bank
A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt Reuters

Last year marked a turnaround for Deutsche and Sewing, who took up his post in 2018, after embarrassing and costly regulatory failings, including over money laundering.

The bank has lost 8.2 billion euros over the last decade.

Its 2020 net profit attributable to shareholders was 113 million euros after a loss of 5.7 billion the year before as a surge in investment banking earnings offset weakness in other businesses.

The rise in the so-called bonus pool to 1.9 billion euros brings it to about the same level as 2018.

Deutsche handed out bonuses as workers at call centres strike over demands for higher wages. Some of those workers earn as little as 12 euros an hour, according to union officials.

"When colleagues read this, they will have further motivation to strike," said Roman Eberle of the Verdi union.