UOB will launch a round of pay increases and promotions for all eligible employees across the whole group in June, it announced on the morning of March 9.

The broad-based initiative will cover up to 98% of the group’s total headcount and excludes senior management.

This move comes as the bank signals its confidence in a sustained economic recovery in 2021.

The bank adds that it is recognising the efforts of its 26,000-strong workforce through the “Covid-19 crisis”.

In September 2020, the bank announced that it would freeze hiring, pay and promotions, as it prepares for a further decline in earnings.

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The bank ended the FY2020 with 33% lower earnings y-o-y at $2.92 billion.

At the time, the Singapore lender said that the hiring freeze would last until December 2021, while salary increases and promotions will be put on hold till further notice.

According to the bank, its high-performing employees will receive “above market average” salary increases under its pay-for-performance compensation approach.

Mid-year promotions will be granted to those individuals with widened job scopes and who exceeded performance expectations over the last 12 months.

The bank adds that the review of senior management salaries will be “considered in a later phase”.

As at 10.58am, shares in UOB are trading 25 cents higher or 1.0% up at $25.93