Top earners’ pay revealed

HSBC yesterday became the first UK bank to disclose details of what it pays top earners, as part of the Merlin agreement and a pre-emption of FSA and EU transparency rules.

Around 280 senior staff at the bank were paid a total of $472m (£293m) in 2010, according to the bank’s figures, meaning an average wage packet of $1.68m for its top executives.

In the UK, 186 senior employees shared a $172.4m bonus pot.

HSBC’s bonus pool in the UK was 15 per cent smaller in 2010, despite the total pot for its staff worldwide rising 4.5 per cent.

The bank said its five highest earners, including two unnamed directors, made a total of £34.3m during 2010, with each making between £6.3m and £8.5m including bonuses, pension contributions and allowances.

The five employees took bonuses worth a total of £29.3m.

New chief executive Stuart Gulliver made £6.2m including his £5.2m bonus, down from £9.8m last year when he was EMEA chairman.

Chairman Douglas Flint made a total of £4.1m, including a £2.8m bonus for his previous job as finance director.

Mike Geoghegan, who stepped down as chief executive at the end of 2010 but has stayed on as a consultant, made £5.8m.

HSBC yesterday also said it paid the government $282m as part of the bank payroll tax announced in December 2009.