HSBC shareholders vote in favour of new executive pay policy

HSBC shareholders voted to approve a new pay policy for executive directors on Friday, cutting the maximum amount they can earn by 7%.

The decision by HSBC follows uproar by investors at BP and Anglo American over remuneration policies.

Earlier this week, Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) said that the maximum potential awards for executives at HSBC for 2015 were “excessive”.

For 2015 an overwhelming 90.49 per cent of HSBC shareholders voted in favour of chief executive Stuart Gulliver’s £7.3 million pay package and chairman Douglas Flint’s pay package worth £2.49 million.

HSBC headquarters, London, 8 Canada Square
HSBC headquarters, London, 8 Canada Square

The bank reduced the amount of cash given to executive directors in lieu of a pension from 50 per cent to 30 per cent of their base salary.

The new policy was approved by 96 percent of shareholders who voted.

“We had expected that the Remuneration Policy you approved back in 2014 would not need to be refreshed until it expired next year,” Chairman Douglas Flint told shareholders before the vote.

“However, regulatory changes as well as responding to shareholder feedback have caused us to make some revisions to this,” he said.

Flint added that a Brexit would cause economic uncertainty and have a negative impact on the bank.

He said: “From our own narrow perspective, a decision to leave could require a restructuring of some of HSBC’s wholesale operations based in the UK.

“This would clearly depend upon the terms on which the UK would have access prospectively to European markets should the UK vote to leave.”