Revelations about bankers’ pay come as HSBC reports a fall in profits to $20bn (£13bn)
HSBC paid 204 of its staff more than £1m in 2012, a year when Britain’s biggest bank made profits of $20.6bn (£13.7bn) despite being fined £1.2bn by the US authorities for helping Mexican drug barons launder money through the financial system.
At the start of a week in which Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are both expected to publish the pay of their highest earners for the first time, HSBC disclosed that 78 of those who took home more than £1m were based in the UK.
Britain’s biggest union, Unite, described the scale of the pay as an “outrage” given that some of its members at HSBC take home £14,000 a year and are facing changes to their pension schemes and holidays.
The bank paid $200m of corporation tax in the UK on the profits, which were lower than the City expected, causing the shares to fall 2.5% to 710p.