HSBC faces fresh criticism over £10bn bonus payouts payments
James Moore is the Independent's Associate Business Editor and writes the Outlook City comment column from Tuesday to Friday. He also has a keen interest in disability issues and when not attempting to further injure himself playing wheelchair basketball.
Friday 23 May 2014
HSBC will come under attack this morning for spending £10bn on bonuses over a four- year period.
The Robin Hood Tax campaign – which wants a financial transaction tax to be imposed on banks to fund a fight against poverty – described the payout as "eye watering" ahead of the bank's annual meeting in London today.
Yesterday it emerged that the Tesco chief executive Phil Clarke did not take home a bonus for the third year in a row. The grocer's annual report also showed that the former chief financial officer Laurie McIlwee will receive a £1m pay-off following his resignation after years of disastrous results.
The Robin Hood campaign said the relative restraint shown by Tesco with respect to its chief executive – his basic pay rose 2 per cent to £1.14m, in line with rises handed to other employees – was in marked contrast to HSBC.
It pointed to figures – culled from the bank's annual reports – showing that the overall remuneration for HSBC's five highest earners was £29m, equivalent to £5.8m each. It said that amounted to 219 times the average UK salary.
David Hillman, a spokesman for the Robin Hood campaign, said: "Such stratospheric rewards put paid to the idea that the banking sector has reformed its ways. Shareholders are angry, the public is angry. It's time the Government got a grip and brought banks' excessive pay under control."
HSBC recently headed off a potential rebellion among investors by reducing a bonus to the chairman Douglas Flint from £2.25m to £1m. The bank said the shares payment had been proposed to take account of his workload overseeing regulatory reform. Critics, however, noted that relations with governments and watchdogs were always part of his job, for which he already receives a £2.25m package.
This year's AGM season has become increasingly fractious, with both Barclays and Standard Chartered having seen pay rebellions. The biggest revolt came when the engineer Kentz saw 49.7 per cent of shareholders voting down its remuneration report. The insurer Hiscox, ITV and BG also endured smaller, although still significant, rebellions.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
iJobs Money & Business
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...