HSBC share price: Top staff at Swiss unit pocket £70m over three years

on Feb 16, 2015

Key staff at HSBC Holdings Plc’s (LON:HSBA) Swiss-based private banking unit have received £70 million in pay and bonuses over three years, it has been revealed. In 2013 the private bank increased remuneration for its top bankers, or “code” staff, nearly 40 percent, according to figures disclosed in HSBC’s financial reports.

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The figures, detailed in HSBC’s Pillar III disclosures, show that code staff were handed around £21 million in salaries and bonuses in both 2011 and 2012. In 2013 the size of the payouts rose to £29.2 millions.
HSBC’s private banking unit is in the middle of a tax-evading scandal, which intensified last week, after media reports revealed details of how the unit helped wealthy helped customers dodge the taxman. Yesterday, HSBC published a full-page advert containing an apology in several British newspapers over the allegations.

“Since 2008, our Swiss private bank has been completely overhauled,” HSBC chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver wrote in the statement. “We have absolutely no appetite to do business with clients who are evading their taxes or who fail to meet our financial crime compliance standards.”
HM Revenue & Customs has denied accusations from Members of Parliament that it failed to take adequate action when it received information in 2010 involving about 3,600 British clients of the Swiss unit. HSBC chairman Douglas Flint and HMRC head Lin Homer are expected to appear on February 25before MPs on the Treasury Committee for questioning over the scandal.

In today’s trading, HSBC shares were up 0.4 percent at 600.80p, as of 08:12 UTC. The stock has fallen 1.3 percent since the start of the year. HSBC’s market capitalisation currently stands at £115.37 billion.
According to the Financial Times, as of Feb 14, 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 44 polled investment analysts covering HSBC Holdings plc has it that investors should hold their position in the company. This stance has been maintained since 26 November, when the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated


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