HSBC’s highest-paid executive defends huge payouts

Date: 1 March 2010
Author: Jill Treanor –

• £10m bonus makes Stuart Gulliver best-paid executive
• Bank reports 24% fall in pretax profits for 2009 to $7bn
• Michael Geoghegan give his payout to charity

Stuart Gulliver, whose £10m pay deal made him the highest paid banker at HSBC last year, defended the practice of big payouts today as Europe’s largest bank reported a 24% fall in pretax profits.

Gulliver was one of five bankers to share a £38m bonus bonanza at HSBC, which suffered a 5% fall in its share price to 682p after its profits announcement. To comply with rules in Hong Kong, where it is based, the bank must reveal the pay of its five highest earners without naming them. Gulliver topped a list in which two people received more than £9m each, another £5.7m, and chief executive Michael Geoghegan received at least £4.3m.

Gulliver and Geoghegan lose their anonymity because they sit on the board.

While discussing the merits of paying a levey and complaining about how “unfair” it would be to their business we continue to see reports of obscene developments in the Bankers Bonus Culture where even a fall in profits is a cause for celebration and gives an excuse for more money to be shared out to these Banksters while at the same time the customer is being charged an “administration fee” of £15.00 and a “daily charge” of £6.00 for an unplanned overdraft of £12.00 which immediately means that the £12.00 becomes £33.00 with the first notification and then £133.00 within the first month – that’s an 1100% markup which is exactly how debt is accumulated in the first place.

When we see these obscene bonuses being handed out, we begin to understand where the additional charges, penalties and fees are being directed.


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