HSBC drops plan for 2016 pay freeze

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

HSBC, Europe's largest bank, has dropped plans to freeze pay this year while re­main­ing cau­tious on the out­look for its rev­enues, a memo from Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art Gul­liver seen by Reuters said on Thurs­day.

The memo comes days be­fore HSBC's board is set to meet to dis­cuss whether the bank will move its head­quar­ters to Hong Kong or stay in Lon­don. Pay rises will be funded from a bonus pool which was orig­i­nally in­tended for pay­ments to be made in 2017, the memo from Gul­liver said. A hir­ing freeze will re­main in place.

"As flagged in our In­vestor Up­date we have tar­geted sig­nif­i­cant cost re­duc­tions by the end of 2017," a spokes­woman for HSBC said in a state­ment. The bank, which had more than 266,000 staff at the end of 2014, plans an­nual cost sav­ings of up to $5 bil­lion by 2017. Gul­liver said that fol­low­ing feed­back on the pay freeze and the way it was com­mu­ni­cated, he had "de­cided to change the way th­ese cost sav­ings are to be achieved". "We will there­fore pro­ceed with the pay rises as orig­i­nally pro­posed by man­agers as part of the 2015 pay re­view, not­ing that, con­sis­tent with prior years, not all staff will re­ceive a pay rise."

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