Home Estate Planning HSBC wants to pay top brass Wall Street salaries

HSBC wants to pay top brass Wall Street salaries

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HSBC is consulting shareholders about whether to raise the bonuses of senior directors, including that of its chief executive, citing “concerns about the competitiveness” of executives’ pay relative to its competitors on Wall Street.

The bank told its investors that it plans to discuss restructuring how Noel Quinn, the firm’s CEO, is remunerated even though his pay nearly doubled last year to £10.6m thanks largely to long-term performance bonuses kicking in.

HSBC’s remuneration committee said in its annual report: “Over several years, the committee has expressed concerns about the competitiveness of the executive director remuneration… and indicated that our preference would be to operate a policy with a higher proportion of the package based on variable pay linked to performance.”

The move is a further sign that the UK’s public companies are concerned about losing talent to firms listed in the US where pay tends to be higher. Executive pay is also regularly earmarked as one of the driving factors behind so few companies choosing to list in the UK.

According to the Sunday Times, the Investment Association, an industry body for shareholders and investment managers, is planning to issue revised advice this week on how to assess executive pay to “ensure they are supporting a competitive market” in the UK.

The fresh guidelines, which the body says it made having spoken with 100 of the FTSE 350 members, advise members to be more lenient on firms that issue higher performance-linked compensation and so-called “hybrid schemes” that also include restrictive shares.

HSBC were approached for comment.

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