HSBC slashes its bonus pool for the year, but chief exec Stuart Gulliver's annual handout rises

 
Hayley Kirton
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The bank revealed this morning that reported profits had slumped (Source: Getty)

HSBC has cut its bonus pool by 12.3 per cent following a worse-than-expected 2016, although chief executive Stuart Gulliver saw his annual bonus grow.

The banking giant revealed its total group variable pay pool for the year was slightly over $3bn (£2.4bn), down from $3.5bn in 2015. Meanwhile, bonuses to go around investment bankers fell to $954m, down from $1.1bn.

Although the bonus pool shrank, there are now less people at HSBC for it to go around. The bank had 235,175 full-time equivalent staff members at the end of 2016, down 20,028 compared with 255,203 at the end of 2015, although 19,145 of these were linked to the bank's disposal of its Brazil operations.

Read more: Analysts banking on Lloyds and Barclays to have steamed ahead during 2016

The total bonus pot for HSBC's staff has been gradually getting smaller; it was $3.7bn back in 2014.

However, chief executive Gulliver saw his own bonus grow during 2016, going from £1.1m to £1.7m, with the lender citing a difference in what goals the bank boss met during the two years as the reason for the rise.

Read more: HSBC's Douglas Flint on Basel, Brexit and his replacement

Gulliver's maximum potential bonus for the 2016 was £2.7m, but this was docked for missing profit, growth and compliance targets, as well as personal objectives.

Gulliver's total pay, including salary, pension and other taxable benefits, dropped from £7.3m in 2015 to £5.7m in 2016. However, this was mostly due to the way the bank's long-term incentive plan was accounted for during the year. If the long-term incentive plan had been included in the chief exec's single figure total for pay for 2016, it would have bumped it up to £7.7m.

The bank revealed this morning that its reported profits before tax for the year had slumped 62 per cent to $7.1bn.

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