HSBC has defended its pay and bonus policy to shareholders today as it faced a revolt at its annual meeting.
In an unusual move, Sir Simon Robertson, chairman of the bank’s remuneration committee, took to the stage at the Barbican Centre to address investors.
He told them HSBC had pulled back on a plan to pay chairman Douglas Flint a bonus of up to £2.25 million, cutting it to £1 million. He said this would only happen “in exceptional circumstances” and once in the three-year life of the new pay policy.
Robertson also highlighted the fact that while HSBC had paid out 12 per cent of 2013’s profits in pay and bonuses it had paid 35 per cent of profits to shareholders. “The dividend went up 9 per cent in 2014, making us one of the highest dividend payers in the FTSE,” he added.
HSBC saw 11 per cent of its shareholders vote against its remuneration policy at last year’s meeting.