Shareholders of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) have shot down a motion to increase the remuneration of the Bank’s Directors, from GHȼ2.5 million to GHȼ4 million per annum.
The motion was put forward by the Board at the Bank’s 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra on Friday but shareholders did not approve it, saying the proposed GHȼ4 million per annum was too high.
The shareholders, by a show of hands when the motion was put to the vote, declined to approve the proposed increment, which was the penultimate issue on the agenda of the AGM.
According to the shareholders, the proposed increment, which was a 60 per cent increase over the current amount of GHȼ2.5 million, was too much and advised the board to revise the amount.
A shareholder, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the GNA that while the increment was in order, the amount proposed was too much and said the increment could be done annually in bits.
“They are asking for an increase in remuneration is in order but the amount of money that they’re asking for… is too much” she stated.
Mr Abraham Sackey-Ashie, a pensioner and shareholder of GCB, also agreed that while the need to increase the amount was understandable, the percentage of the increment was too much.
He said a 40 per cent increase would have been more acceptable to shareholders.
The new Chairman of the Board, Mr Jude Arthur said the remuneration for the board; including Executive and Non-Executive Directors, was last increased in 2013, thus the motion to increase it.
Mr Arthur said the increment proposed had been arrived at after careful research by the Board to arrive at benchmarks before presenting it to the shareholders for approval.
“The Directors did the right thing by looking at the economy and proposing benchmarks for approval by the shareholders,” he stated.
He said the Board would now have to get back to all the stakeholders on the matter.
“When something like this happens, you take the decision of the stakeholders in good faith and then make another proposal,” he said.
He said while the vote against the motion had been mainly by minority shareholders, it was important to be sensitive to all levels of shareholders.
He said though it was not possible to say immediately whether an extraordinary AGM would be called on the matter, any decision arrived at after the review will be communicated to the shareholders.
“It is also in the interest of the company and the shareholders so we will do it as short a time as we can,” Mr Arthur said.