Banker bonus anger ‘sparks bank interest in transparency software’

Cloud SaaS

by Joe Curtis| 16 January 2014

Xactly believes its SaaS solution means firms can justify staff rewards.

Outrage over bankers' bonuses has boosted business for a firm offering transparency into how staff are rewarded.

Public anger over the huge sums of money awarded to bankers despite their role in the economic downturn has led banks to seek ways to justify those bonuses publicly.

That is according to Xactly, an enterprise cloud software firm currently in talks with HSBC over its solutions that help employers and employees monitor how much of a bonus they are due.

Its SaaS solution, Incent, links individual objectives to those of the business, and tracks employees' progress in visual form as well as the number of days they have left to achieve their aims.

Crucially, managers can link their progress to the equivalent bonus due.

While banks would not have to make this information public, Xactly's worldwide sales VP, Steve DeMarco, believes they want to in order to avoid public backlashes akin to that of 2008, when banks' role in the financial crisis came to light.

He said: "More and more banks are adopting our solution. When they see the transparency and reporting they can have over this process it's been very well received.

"There's always going to be a feeling of complete unfairness when these bonuses are seen but the more transparency you can put in up front, at least there's some logic there."

While DeMarco conceded such transparency may not allay anger over the size of some bonuses, he said it would ensure that "at least there's some semblance of control and transparency and it won't seem like it's so arbitrary".

Fred Goodwin, ex-CEO of RBS, was stripped of his knighthood in 2012 after earning millions in bonuses from the bank, despite being blamed for its near collapse at the height of the financial crisis.

DeMarco said that Xactly is in talks with a number of European banks at the moment and hopes to expand into Europe, with plans to double its London team from six to 12 staff.

Europe is currently worth 10% of the American firm's revenue, with DeMarco setting his sights initially on increasing that to around 15%.

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