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HSBC boss to hand bonus to charities as profits rise 56%

By Holly Williams

HSBC boss Michael Geoghegan confirmed today that he will hand up to £4m of his bonus payouts to charity as the banking giant reported a 56% rise in annual profits.

The group said it made $13.3bn (£8.8bn) in underlying pre-tax profits last year, up from an adjusted $8.6bn in 2008.

Its chief executive said he would pass on his £4m bonus entitlement — paid in deferred shares — to charities around the world over the next three years.

HSBC chairman Stephen Green has also waived his entitlement to annual bonus shares.

But the bank revealed it will hand share windfalls to other senior executives — including a £9m payment to its investment banking head, Stuart Gulliver.

On a reported basis, HSBC's results showed a 24% slide in annual profits to $7.1bn (£4.7bn) after one-off factors and write-downs on the value of its assets.

But with these stripped out, HSBC saw a marked improvement thanks largely to a 148% surge in profits for its investment banking arm.

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