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CEOs take pay cuts

The top executives at three of Canada’s biggest banks are taking deep pay cuts after the financial crisis eroded profits and battered stocks.

The top executives at three of Canada’s biggest banks are taking deep pay cuts after the financial crisis eroded profits and battered stocks.

Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive officer said yesterday he is voluntarily turning down $5 million in 2008 compensation. His counterpart at the Bank of Nova Scotia saw his pay package slashed by 20 per cent. And Bank of Montreal’s CEO decided to give up $4.1 million in rewards.

For his part, RBC’s CEO Gordon Nixon is forfeiting pricey elements of his pay package, including $2.75 million in deferred shares and $2.2 million in stock options. If he had accepted those perks, Nixon’s total direct compensation — including salary, bonus and equity-based rewards — would have totalled $8.75 million. RBC failed to meet most of its 2008 financial goals and its full-year profits sank by 17 per cent. Last week, its stock hit a five-year low.

Nixon said his decision was “personal” and unrelated to RBC’s performance.

 
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