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453 HSBC fatcats are paid more than PS780k; Boss trousers PS7.3m from bank.

Byline: GRAHAM HISCOTT Business Editor

HSBC has rewarded 453 star employees with bumper payouts and handed boss Stuart Gulliver more than PS7.3million.

The bank's profit edged up 1% last year but that did not stop the number of staff earning [euro]1million (PS780,000) surging from 319 in 2014 to 453.

Higher up the staff tree the fatcats' bonuses were even greater, with nine each given packages worth nearly PS4million, said HSBC's annual report.

But even these payouts were dwarfed by Mr Gulliver's bonuses and perks which added more than PS6million to his basic salary of PS1.25million.

Amazingly, this was his lowest payout as chief executive. In five years in the post he has earned PS38.5million.

HSBC handed out PS2.5billion in total bonuses. Britain's big four banks are likely to confirm in the next fortnight that they gave away a similar sum.

HSBC claimed the bonus leap was due to currency fluctuations between what staff were paid and the figures being recorded in euros.

The bank has come under fire for threatening to move its headquarters out of the UK to pressure Chancellor George Osborne into watering down a bank levy. Yesterday Mr Gulliver warned it could move 1,000 banking staff from London to Paris if the UK votes to leave the EU.

David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, said: "It may have been a bumpy year for HSBC, but that hasn't stopped the flow of bumper payouts. Many more millionaires made and PS7.3million for the chief executive is hardly the picture of a reformed financial sector. The City is still completely out of sync with the rest of the economy.

"It's in everyone's interest the UK has a more level playing field. The Chancellor should take note."

Christine Berry, senior researcher at think tank the New Economics Foundation, said: "The UK banking system is dangerously dysfunc-tional and our bloated banks remain too big to fail."

Fionn Travers-Smith, campaign manager at pressure group Move Your Money, said: "Today's bonus figures show just how far above the law giant mega-banks like HSBC really are.

"Bankers reward themselves for delivering returns to shareholders no matter what the cost to society or other stakeholders.

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HUGE BONUS Stuart Gulliver

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 23, 2016
Words:376
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