Romanian PM to cut state-owned bank CEO wages by 60 percent

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu is determined to cut the wages of state-owned bank CEOs by 60 percent, capping their monthly remuneration at RON 28,000 (approximately EUR 6,000). This is Cîțu’s second attempt: He already tried to cut the wages of the CEOs at CEC and Exim Bank; the first was when he was serving as minister of finance, but on that occasion, he failed for some reason (via Maszol).

In 2019, the CEO of the Romanian CEC Bank, Bogdan Neacșu, had a yearly wage of RON 982,338 (currently EUR 201,511, but using last year’s exchange rate, more than EUR 205,000), which means a monthly net income of RON 81,861 (nearly EUR 17,000 a month).

The same year, Exim Bank’s CEO, Traian Halalai, had an even better salary, netting RON 1,061,204 (EUR 217,695), or RON 88,000 (EUR 18,000) per month. In addition, he had other sources of income that year; as a member of a governing committee, he was entitled to yearly remuneration of RON 219,659 (EUR 45,060).

While the pay of Neacșu and Halalai are relatively modest in the Romanian banking sector – some CEOs take home more than EUR 1 million per year – Cîțu believes taxpayers’ money should not be wasted on the sky-high wages of bank CEOs. Both the CEC Bank and Exim Bank are controlled by the Ministry of Finance.

As a result, Cîțu now wants to cap the monthly remuneration of Neacsu and Halalai at RON 28,000 (approximately EUR 6,000), an amount with which you can pay your bills with ease in Romania, considering that some people earn only RON 1,500 (EUR 300) per month.

Still, the aforementioned wages of CEOs aren’t anything compared to their European counterparts. In Italy, for example, there are 206 bank CEOs entitled to yearly pay exceeding EUR 1 million; in France, 234; and in Germany, 450; while in the UK, the number goes up to 3,614. Of course, we have to keep in mind that the banking sector in those countries are more developed than that in Romania.

Cîțu isn’t the first to launch an open attack against the high wages of CEC Bank and Exim Bank CEOs. His Social-Democrat predecessor, Eugen Teodorovici, already cut their monthly remuneration from the previous EUR 25,000 to the amount Cîțu now considers too high.

Title image: Traian Halalai (left) and Bogdan Neacșu (right).

Author: István Fekete