Erste Bank Hungary launches ESOP

Banking

Austrian-owned Erste Bank Hungary on Monday announced the launch of an employee stock ownership program (ESOP), according to a report by state news wire MTI.

All staff who have been working at the lender for at least six months will be eligible for EUR 350 of shares and may purchase more from their savings as well as get extra shares as a bonus. Erste Bank Hungary will cover all tax and contributions related to the shares.

The shares have a lock-up period of five years, during which time voting rights are exercised by a foundation; however, employee shareholders are eligible for dividends.

Chairman-CEO Radovan Jelasity said that giving staff the chance to work independently is "at the core of the bank's business culture", while various bonus and incentive schemes, such as the ESOP, strengthen staff commitment.

He added that the role of non-wage compensation in retaining staff has become bigger as a result of the pandemic.

He said half of Erste Bank Hungary's staff now telecommute, "and it's going to stay that way". Allowing staff to decide how to budget their time "is the new reality", he added.

The headcount at Erste Bank Hungary is more than 3,300.

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