BNP Paribas agrees €775mn deal to acquire Raiffeisen Bank Polska
BNP Paribas is set to make major gains in Poland with the acquisition of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) Polish arm for €775mn.
RBI, the country's tenth largest lender, will be merged with BNP's Polish subsidiary - BGZ BNP Paribas - to consolidate BNP's standing as the sixth-biggest financial institution in the European Union's largest eastern economy.
According to BNP Paribas' statement, the transaction will also enhance the position of all its subsidiaries operating in Poland (BNP Paribas Securities Services, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, BNP Paribas Cardif, Arval, …) in accordance with the Group's integrated model.
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"Raiffeisen Bank is one of the pioneers of modern banking in Poland," said Przemek Gdanski, CEO of BGZ BNPP. "I am glad that we will join forces and experiences, building an inspiring organisation that is open to development and collaboration. In many business areas, we will become an undisputed market leader."
Piotr Czarnecki, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Polska, added: "The teams of Raiffeisen Bank Polska can be excited by the perspective of joining BNP Paribas, one of the leading banking groups in Europe.
"The global reach of BNP Paribas and its ambition on the Polish market is certainly good news for our clients and its interest in us offers a fantastic recognition of the quality of our franchise."
The transaction in subject to regulatory approval and is set to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.
More than half of FTSE 100 execs suffer pay cuts, freezes
Pay increases for many executives at the largest UK firms have been put on hold since the start of the pandemic with more than half of the FTSE 100 CEOs having had their salaries frozen in 2021, according to new research from PwC.
The research, based on PwC’s analysis of the first 50 FTSE 100 firms to publish their 2021 annual remuneration reports, reveals that 53% of CEOs and 52% of CFOs have had their pay reviews put on hold, compared to 35% and 30%, respectively, last year, pointing to the pandemic as the main reason.
According to Phillippa O’Connor, reward and employment leader at PwC, the current environment and impact of the pandemic has clearly led shareholders to sharpen their pencils when reviewing executive pay levels this year.
“It is clear from the pay outcomes we have seen to date in the FTSE 100 that companies have exercised restraint when it comes to both determining outcomes for the 2020 performance year and settling pay on a forward-looking basis for 2021,” says O’Conoor.
Bonuses, grants and pensions also affected
But that’s not all. Around a third (31%) of companies either waived, cancelled or reduced their 2020 annual bonuses, with the average payout dropping from just uhnder £1.1m to £843,000.
When it comes 2021 long-term incentive plan (LTIP) grants, these have also been revised in light of the economic impact of the pandemic with 45% of firms making some adjustment to their award, including retaining discretion to adjust outcomes at vesting in respect of windfall gains, reducing grant size, delaying the grant, and even canceling the award altogether.
The study shows that pension levels for incumbent CEOs remain at 15% of their salary, falling to 10% for new hires, bringing them in line with the wider workforce. Eight out of 10 FTSE 100 companies will have aligned incumbent pension levels with those for the wider workforce by the end of 2022.
O’Connor warns that moving forward into AGM season, there is likely to be added scrutiny around any pay rises that are greater than those for the wider workforce and on incentive outcomes that are “either not aligned with business performance or do not take into account the company’s approach towards matters such as diviends and government support”.
What announcements did UK's big firms make?
Back in April 2020, as the pandemic was just getting started, a number of UK companies, mainly insurance and banking stepped forward to review remuneration packages in response to the economic implications of the COVID-19 crisis.
British insurance giant Aviva announced that basic pay increases for its executive directors and the Aviva leadership team would be paused, while the executive directors of Prudential offered that their salaries be reduced and RSA confirmed its exec directors and executive committee would not be receiving cash bonuses for the current year.
The same was true in banking and finance with TSB announcing that its 10-strong executive committee would give up their bonuses in 2020, while Barclays said its chief executive, finance director and chairman would each give a third of their fixed pay for the next six months to charities. Lloyds cancelled its bonus payments and pay reviews in 2020
Other big UK firms including Ryanair, Taylor Wimpey and Rentokil all committed to reducing their executives pay packages.