A survey of senior bankers' salaries has revealed directors at many smaller banks are keeping an increasingly large slice of attributable profits for themselves compared with their larger rivals. The survey also revealed the financial benefits of working in the private sector, with top banking salaries in many cases outstripping payments to Financial Secretary Sir Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Secretary for Financial Services Rafael Hui Si-yan and Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief Joseph Yam Chi-kwong. David Li Kwok-po has retained his position as the highest paid banker, earning between $25.5 million and $26 million last year as chief executive of Bank of East Asia. His payout last year was $4 million more than that in 1995 - an increase in line with the bank's profit growth last year and equivalent to about 1.37 per cent of its net profit of $1.88 billion. Smaller bank First Pacific paid a considerably larger 3.42 per cent of its attributable profit of $350.63 million to managing director James Ng Chi-ming, who received between $11.5 million and $12 million. His salary - the second highest in the city - comprised the bulk of the bank's payout to directors. The third highest banking salary went to HSBC Holdings chairman Sir William Purves, who received GBP726,000 (about HK$9.17 million), equivalent to 0.023 per cent of the group's GBP3.1 billion profit, the lowest of all listed banks in the territory. This policy of paying only a small portion of attributable profit to directors was also found at HSBC subsidiary Hang Seng Bank. The bank's chief executive, Alexander Au Siu-kee, earned between $8.5 million and $9 million, up sharply from between $5.5 million and $6 million in the previous year. Mr Au's salary represented about 0.1 per cent of the bank's profit of $8.48 billion. The heads of the territory's smaller banks tended to be rewarded more handsomely. Boutique bank International Bank of Asia's vice-chairman and chief executive Mike Murad received between $7.5 million and $8 million last year, about 2.2 per cent of the bank's profit of $362.8 million. The bank's 10 directors enjoyed the highest pay-out ratio in relation to attributable profit, at 3.9 per cent. Mr Murad's remuneration exceeded that of high-flying central banker Joseph Yam, whose $7 million to $7.5 million all-inclusive salary raised eyebrows in the Government. Mr Yam's salary is more than double that of his boss - Financial Secretary Sir Donald Tsang, whose annual salary is $2.44 million, excluding fringe benefits. Coupled with a housing allowance, Sir Donald's annual pay package is estimated at $3 million. Secretary for Financial Services Rafael Hui earns $2.17 million, excluding benefits. A notable change in the rankings was Dao Heng Bank. In the 1994-95 financial year, the bank's highest paid director enjoyed a salary of between $15 million and $16 million, second only to Mr Li. In the latest financial year, the highest paid director received between $5.5 million and $6 million. The bank declined to reveal why the director's remuneration had been cut so drastically. This is the second year the annual reports of listed companies provided details of directors' salaries. The salaries did not include benefits under share option schemes offered to the directors.