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Bank giant HSBC to unveil more than £14bn in profits




Dave Thompson


Profits of more than £14bn and a pay package worth up to £12.5m for its chief executive are set to be revealed by HSBC today.

City analysts estimate that profits for 2011 could hit £14.1bn, which would be among the biggest ever reported by a British company and close to its record of £15.1bn set in 2007.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver could be awarded a total package worth up to £12.5m as his £1.25m salary will be boosted by a £3.75m bonus and long-term incentives potentially worth up to £7.5m. The final element will be in shares and cannot be sold until he retires or leaves HSBC.

The banking giant makes an estimated 90% of its money outside Britain and has benefited from its exposure to emerging markets in Asia. It is expected to say that it will continue to focus its efforts on growing economies such as China, while maintaining its market share in lower growth areas such as Europe.

Its British operations are expected to show flat profits for 2011, while its American arm continues to suffer the fall-out from the acquisition of sub-prime lender Household in 2002, reports today said.

Barclays, RBS and Lloyds have already said that they have cut their bonus pools amid falling profits, though it remains to be seen whether HSBC will follow suit by reducing pay at its investment banking arm.

In 2010, it paid its 295,000 staff some £12.6bn, while its highest awarded banker was paid between £8.4m and £8.5m.

But it is under less pressure to act because it did not need to go cap in hand to taxpayers in the financial crisis. Its profits are likely to be more than double the £5.9bn reported by Barclays earlier this month.

The bank is also expected to reveal the pay for its top eight executives, in line with new disclosure rules due to come into force later this year.

And it will reportedly create hundreds of millions of pounds of new shares, which it will then sell on the market to fund the cash element of larger bonuses for its UK staff members.