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Others fail to imitate HSBC chief’s £4m charity gesture

HSBC revealed it paid three bankers more than £9m each last year as bonuses continued to dominate annual results in the sector yesterday.

While the banking giant's chief executive moved to calm public anger by donating his £4m bonus to charity, it emerged that the head of HSBC's investment banking arm, Stuart Gulliver, was awarded a £9m shares bonus plus unchanged salary of £800,000, according to the bank's annual report. Two other employees also received hefty pay packages of more than £9m last year, with the bank's five biggest earners taking home more than £35m in bonuses, albeit in deferred shares.

However, chief executive Michael Geoghegan said he would pass his £4m bonus entitlement to charities around the world over the next three years, while chairman Stephen Green has waived his entitlement to bonus shares.

Peter Sands, the boss of UK bank Standard Chartered, will also give his 2009 windfall to good causes.

The pressure has been mounting since two leading executives at Barclays and the chief executives at Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group decided to forgo their 2009 handouts.