HSBC’s fourth quarter results are out.
If you work in the Global Banking & Markets (GB&M) business they were not good. In fact, in the words of Investec analysts they were “exceptionally weak.” Revenues fell 29% in GB&M quarter on quarter. Costs rose, targets were jettisoned, and pay is being punished accordingly.
There are some plus points, however.
1. 2014 bonuses at HSBC are down
2. But a lower proportion is deferred
3. HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver receives £88k a year in ‘car benefits’ and £246k a year in accommodation benefits
4. The number of people at HSBC who are covered by EU remuneration rules has gone through the roof. HSBC used to refer to them as ‘code staff’ but has now recategorized them as ‘material risk takers’ (MRTs).
5. Pay for HSBC investment bankers seems to have fallen, or not
The average pay for a material risk taker at HSBC was $1m (£650k) in 2014. This compared to $1.5m for code staff in 2013. That looks like a big drop – except we’re not comparing like with like. Code staff were a smaller and more tightly defined group. This may explain why they were higher paid.
6. You can get a sign-on payment to join HSBC. In 2014, five MRTs were paid a combined $2.6m to join (another 13 were paid a combined $4.1m to go away)
7. 79% of MRTs at HSBC earn less than $1m
19% earn $1m to $2m. 2% earn more than $2m.