HSBC rows back over chairman’s bonus to appease shareholders

Kate McCann
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HSBC has rowed back on plans to award chairman Douglas Flint a £2.25m bonus share package, amid rising anger from its shareholders.

Instead, the bank said it would pay Flint a one-off £1.06m sum to reflect his increased workload, largely on regulatory issues. The bonus amounted to 44 per cent of Flint’s pay package, which was £2.43m last year.

The chairman of the bank’s remuneration committee, Simon Robertson, met shareholders yesterday, HSBC said, in a bid to head off angry scenes at its annual general meeting on 23 May.

Shareholders are angry about the proposed £2.25m bonus, because when Flint was appointed in 2010, HSBC said he would receive a salary package but no bonuses. The group subsequently said it would pay a bonus in exceptional circumstances.

Business secretary Vince Cable recently wrote to the chairs of all FTSE100 renumeration committees, asking them to exercise restraint when it came to executive pay.