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Feb
2015
Tuesday 24th
posted by Richard Bagley in Britain

DISGRACED bank HSBC handed its chief a £7.6 million bonus yesterday despite plunging profits and shady revelations about his financial arrangements in notorious tax havens.

CEO Stuart Gulliver’s £29,000-a-day payout came two weeks after the firm’s role in illegal tax evasion came to light — and hours after news of his own Swiss account was exposed.

Another 320 senior staff shared out £736,000.

HSBC’s profits fell 17 per cent last year — yet the firm still banked an eye-watering £12.1 billion.

Chairman Douglas Flint claimed it would be unfair to penalise Mr Gulliver, who took the role in 2011, over the earlier activities of the bank’s Swiss wing exposed this month.

But fresh revelations emerged yesterday over the CEO’s own dealings with HSBC Suisse.

A leaked dossier showed that Derby-born Mr Gulliver, who is a resident of Hong Kong for tax purposes, had squirreled away about £5m via a Panamanian front company.

He claimed yesterday that he had set up the vehicle to hide the value of his pre-2003 bonuses from work colleagues.

However, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is hard to see why HSBC is paying bonuses at a time when their role in tax evasion and avoidance has become so controversial.

“Those at the top of the banks continue to believe they have some special entitlement to be paid huge amounts every year whatever they do, even when the value of average wages has fallen every year since the crash.”

Mr Gulliver did see £500,000 docked from his bonus over the bank’s role in a separate currency exchange-rigging scandal, which triggered a £216m Financial Conduct Authority fine.

But Labour shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson said people would be “astounded” at the size of the payouts given the recent revelations.

“This underlines Labour’s determination to repeat the tax on bank bonuses in order to fund a jobs programme for young people,” she said.

“We also need wider reform of the banking industry, including extending clawback of bank bonuses to at least 10 years in cases where there has been inappropriate behaviour.”

news@peoples-press.com




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