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Thursday January 17th 2019

Fresh graduate unhappy with commission payout structure at OCBC bank

I used to sell corporate product for OCBC.

One would guess huge organisation like this would be more corporate socially responsible, but no. They exploit fresh graduates having knew that people like me will hanker it – fancy organisation name and title and ignore the most importance component- personal welfare.

I still remember during my interview, I was promised guidance, mentorship, supportive environment and quarterly commission payout. However all this is just a facade.

Despite having made explicitly known that it is a sales role with incentive in the form of commission, it was not written anywhere in their contract. And when questions were made to the HR, they pushed it to the leaders of the team, who then coaxed to filled me in on a later date.

Upon acceptance of the offer, I raised the issue of lacking the commission component in my contract. Instead of amending it, they blamed it on ignorance to the commission structure and once again pushed it back to the leader of the department. Feared that too much questions might caused me to lose my job, I accepted the reasons she gave.

Since what is done is done. One can only hope for the best…

Little did I know that was only the beginning. Not only was I not given a proper training, I was rebutted and deemed stupid for not having to absorb everything they vaguely mentioned for the first time. And I was not the only one.

Having to stay in an environment where people simply can’t wait to leave or bolt the moment they can wasn’t exactly a supportive environment should be. Neither sticking to the belief of correlating excellent in sales to good leadership

Announcement of commission came in months later after I joined. Based on most of my seniors’ statements, the commission was lower than before and conditions like not getting a single cent if you were to leave before payout date. To make matter worst, commission payout date has been pushed to a month later.

Maybe due to the huge organisation layout, they are securely padded with discretion clauses to cover any loopholes and there is nothing you can do about.

You can question the management, but they can tell you it is covered in the clause where the bank has all rights to change anything and you have no say about it.

Funny thing is, I have never seen the clause before because I did not know my commission until the announcement was made. Even upon announcement, no physical copy of the commission was given in fear of external disseminating to other banks.

How is one suppose to know the clause beforehand when nothing was mentioned before announcement was made? even so, would one worked for nothing if they refused to accept the terms and conditions made during the announcement? Shouldn’t the commission be fixed upon joining instead of having to deliberate for months before announcing it? Shouldn’t commission payout be affixed into the contract? Shouldn’t the commission be pro-rated if the staff leave? What happen to the promised quarterly payout upon signing of contract?


Extremely coward person who “doesn’t want to burn his bridges in the finance industry”.

P.S – that is the first statement made by the interviewer during the exit interview.

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3 Responses to “Fresh graduate unhappy with commission payout structure at OCBC bank”

  1. Bonus and comm says:

    Dear Gilbert, is it time for the government to address the delayed bonus and commission issue? Companies are using this tactic to hold back employees or not paying them. Bonus is discretionary but is made on service delivered. Why should someone who is promised bonus not be receiving it if he resigns before payment date, or worse have to refund if resign x months after payment? Isn’t this unfair? Why is MOM not interested in this area? Isn’t it abuse?

    Commission also same as above. If it is budget or sales target delivered, it is delivered. How can a company refuse to pay commissions when the person leaves before payout? He delivered the damn sales! Such unfair industry practices have to be weeded out! Singapore is world class employment market right? Why are we employing 3rd world HR tactics!

  2. Sunny Tan says:

    It is OCBS. Another crook. Trust her. It was involved in money laundering and reported by a blog and not by The Straits Times. For the above case ocbc is being difficult on paying bonus. Trying to save money and by tricking and cheating. Can this case go to the Labour Court? Ocbc, I bet will dead scared to go. It fears the reports in the media.

  3. BErnard says:

    Welcome to the real world.

    Companies typically do not state their commission structure in the employment contract; HR may explain in general, but usually it is left to the respective Sales Manager or Sales Team Leaders to explain the Comm. Structure to the Employee. this is common.

    And we all know that Companies or Sales Leaders always explain using the Upper range of commission pay out to “attract” prospective hires, but in actual, you may not hit their target or you would have to be in the top Sales Bracket to see those numbers & Rewards they sell to you. Again, nothing new.

    The correct question to ask a company is “how much is the average commission pay out to your sales employee”, basically what average employees in the sales team are really getting on mth to mth or Quarterly basis (If you’re not good enough to be in the 20% Top sales bracket, or bad enough to be in the lowest 20% non performer bracket, you can be sure your payout would be around the average range, in the middle with the rest of 60%). don’t be star struck by big numbers and rewards.

    Companies can change their commission and reward structure as per business requirements; and if you read closely, most will have this as part of contractual terms. If it is not stated, Ask Ask Ask. don’t look at what is written and die die fight over wording here and there; look out for what is NOT written. That is more telling. Example, payment terms of commission or incentive to employees who resign, some companies pay you out as long as you serve full FY, some don’t care, they withhold if you resign. Some being more genius simply pay you as long as you sell the product (its your sales). But no, there is no hard rule companies, if it is written then good, if not then ASK ASK ASK.

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