The head office of ABN AMRO bank is seen in Amsterdam in this file picture.

Amsterdam - Dutch state-owned bank ABN AMRO has increased the salaries of 100 top managers by 20 percent to compensate for new regulations in the Netherlands that will cap bonuses, the lender said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem last year proposed capping bonus pay in the country at 20 percent of annual salary from 2015, far below a maximum of 100 percent adopted by the European Union, and he submitted the draft legislation to parliament last week.

ABN AMRO chief executive Gerrit Zalm told business daily Financieele Dagblad that the increase in his managers' base pay was needed to retain high-level staff.

“You have to remain competitive in pay, otherwise you will lose people. It is unavoidable,” he said in an interview published on Wednesday.

ABN AMRO spokesman Hans van Zon said that total pay for the managers had actually declined this year because the bank had lowered the maximum bonus pay from 100 percent to 20 percent in anticipation of the law change.

The increase in base pay does not violate the new regulations and applied to 100 top level managers from January 1 this year, he said.

The new bonus capping rules in the Netherlands came in response to what the public widely considered excessive pay awarded to executives after Dutch banks were bailed out with tens of billions of euros of taxpayers' money. - Reuters