HSBC doubles profits to $19bn as figures return to pre-crisis levels
Banking giant HSBC revealed its annual profits more than doubled as its results recover to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.
The group posted pre-tax profits of $19bn (£12bn) last year, up from $7.1bn (£4.4bn) in 2009.
Its 2010 haul - the biggest of the UK players - marks a return to pre-crisis profits, coming close to the $24.2bn (£15bn) seen in 2007.
HSBC revealed its highest paid banker, who was not named, was paid between £8.4m and £8.5m for 2010 - more than the chief executive's package.
The bank said the compensation ratio of its Global Banking and Markets (GBM) investment banking division - given as a percentage of revenues - remained unchanged at 23%, despite a 9% drop in the division's profits.
However, HSBC said its GBM global bonus pool was down 10% and added UK bonuses were 15% lower, although it did not provide figures.
New chief executive Stuart Gulliver - former head of the investment bank - was awarded a £5.2m bonus for 2010, which he will take in deferred shares, taking his total package for the year to £6.2m.
The bank's former boss Michael Geoghegan - who stepped down as chief executive on December 31 - picked up a £3.8m bonus and a total package of £5.8m for the year. He will continue to work for the group until he retires on March 31, landing over £1.4m in pay and pension this year.
Despite the hefty rise in profits last year, shares fell 5% as the figure came in shy of the $20bn (£12.3bn) expected.