Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million

New figures show HSBC's top earner raked in £8.4 million, while 180 UK staff pocketed bonuses averaging £600,000, and HSBC paid just £236 million in UK corporation tax last year - despite doubling its profits to £11.8billion.

Austerity? Tough times? A wage freeze? A “cost of living crisis“? Not for the HSBC fat cats who raked in millions last year, figures revealed this week, with five of these unnamed individuals sharing £35 million, an average of £7 million each. HSBC’s top earner raked in £8.4 million, while 180 UK staff pocketed bonuses averaging £600,000. HSBC paid just £236 million in UK corporation tax last year – despite doubling its profits to £11.8billion.

David Hillman, of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, said of the figures:

“These sky-high profits and Lottery-sized pay packets are a slap in the face for millions of people whose jobs and services are being cut. The public will not forgive our politicians for allowing bankers to award themselves billions of pounds while we pay to clean up the mess they caused.”

While TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said:

“Banks seem to think that tax is only for the little people – a sentiment felt all too well by small businesses saddled with the recent VAT hike that banks are not paying either.

“Despite causing the financial crash that led to the global recession and widening deficit, banks are paying the least towards repairing the mess they created. HSBC’s tiny corporation tax bill, despite soaring multi-billion pound profits, makes a mockery of the UK tax system.”

The figures came to light as a result of new disclosure rules in Hong Kong, under which the salaries of the five highest paid people have to be specified – including traders – while in the UK disclosure applies only to the five people who report to the chief executive, leading to criticism UK rules on disclosure are not tight enough.

Lord Oakeshott, who left the government last month over the coalition’s failure to take adequate action on bankers’ bonuses, said:

“British disclosure standards under what is Project Mirage are less than half Hong Kong’s. Shareholders and non-executives need to know all the biggest packages, not just the ones it suits to show.”

42 Responses to “Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million”

  1. Simon Ward

    I'm in the wrong job. RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/h0FzVE

  2. cosmiclandmine

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  3. Bored London Gurl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  4. Jane Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  5. Guido Fawkes

    You know Robin Hood fought against the taxman not for higher taxes. You lot would have been on the Sheriff of Nottingham’s side.

  6. Tacitus

    Can someone please explain to me how a government can persecute those on benefit whilst allowing this kind of behaviour? How can Cameron sleep at nights?

  7. Tacitus

    Can someone please explain to me how a government can persecute those on benefit whilst allowing this kind of behaviour? How can Cameron sleep at nights?

  8. Anon E Mouse

    Would this be the same Brendan Barber who earns £100k a year plus expenses? That one?

  9. PetAgree Friends

    Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/dZEPz6

  10. tom serona

    Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: Not for the HSBC fat cats who raked in millions last year, figu… http://bit.ly/fdhfDc

  11. KimK

    Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: Not for the HSBC fat cats who raked in millions last year, figu… http://bit.ly/gVqW4p

  12. John Cartmell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  13. dbr1981

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/h0FzVE

  14. Andy S

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  15. Stephen W

    HSBC is a global business that wasn’t bailed out by the taxpayer and is bigger than RBS, Lloyds and Barclays combined.

    A) It’s idiotic to compare it’s global profits last year to its UK corporation tax this year.
    B)The Robin Hood campaign claims that “sky high profits…are a slap in the face to the taxpayer”. What does that even mean? Does this idiot want the bank to make a loss worldwide out of social solidarity?

    These kinds of comments are just ridiculous. They suggest these people have no idea what it is they’re talking about.

  16. chris star

    Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  17. Double.Karma

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  18. ---

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  19. Nishma Doshi

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  20. Nishma Doshi

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ #demo2011 #ukuncut

  21. Doris Fone

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  22. Heidi Joluni

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/h0FzVE

  23. manishta sunnia

    RT @NishmaDoshi: RT @unitonehifi: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ #demo2011 #ukuncut

  24. Joseph O'Brien

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  25. Mike Simpson

    RT @unitonehifi: Austerity?
    Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million
    http://bit.ly/g9HvmZ
    #demo2011 #ukuncut

  26. Talking Cats

    Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million | Left Foot Forward: New figures show HSBC's top earner raked in… http://bit.ly/howf7P

  27. Mavis

    @Stephen W. I don’t think the comments are idiotic. HSBC is headquartered in London, a lot of its operations are in the UK, and its right we ask if the organisation is paying its fair share. Also, banks are unique in that they are allowed by governments to create money out of nothing – so-called fractional reserve banking. While economists of the Austrian school – usually associated with the right – say that fractional reserve banking (frb)should be stopped altogether, a classic social democratic response is to say that frb should be maintained as it powers economic growth, but the state has the right to regulate and tax as it sees fit. HSBC may not have been ‘bailed out’ but it continues to enjoy this privilege of frb – which is in effect a form of government support and does put some obligations on banks.

  28. Mr. Sensible

    The bankers have managed to nigociate their bonuses, low taxes and meaningless lending agreements out of the treasury’s paper bag…

  29. Daniel Pitt

    Austerity? Five HSBC fatcats pocket £35m share http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl #ConDemNation

  30. salardeen

    RT @myinfamy: Austerity? Five HSBC fatcats pocket £35m share http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl #ConDemNation

  31. Richard

    “4.Would this be the same Brendan Barber who earns £100k a year”

    And quite happily pays 50% tax on it. At least he doesn’t scrounge from the state, unlike full time dole trolls.

  32. Richard

    “You know Robin Hood fought against the taxman not for higher taxes.” He fought against the taxes on the poor that benefited the non-taxed rich. Oh dear, Guido’s knowledge of popular culture is seriously deficient. It can only be the lazy, ignorant work of his pale imitation successor.

  33. Stephen W

    Yes, it is perfectly right to ask HSBC to pay its fair share. But no evidence has been presented in this article that they’re not. Just a lot of puffed up outrage. If you’re going to make a case, make it well. Don’t just rely on emotive statements and nonsense.

    ““4.Would this be the same Brendan Barber who earns £100k a year”
    And quite happily pays 50% tax on it.”

    Only if you have evidence he’s voluntarily paying a lot more tax than he’s required to since the 50% rate only kicks in on incomes over £150,000.

    These kinds of simplistic comparisons also fail to take in the sheer scale of HSBC’s profits. So the big boss has received £8 million. His company made £11.8 billion. He took 0.06% of the profits. That’s equivilent to the boss of a company that makes £10 million profit being paid 6 grand, whereas obviously he would be paid far more.

  34. Mark Stevo

    I’m a bit puzzled by this one. HSBC made 2010 profit before tax of $19.0 and paid tax of $4.8bn, or around 25%. What’s the problem exactly?

  35. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  36. Helen Thomas

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  37. Lins Noir

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  38. Neil's Tennant

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  39. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  40. Nick H.

    RT @leftfootfwd: Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million: http://bit.ly/g0Tqjl reports @ShamikDas

  41. Kitten Health

    Hey, very entertaining post. Well done, Shamik Das

  42. We're all in this together... But they aren't | Left Foot Forward

    […] Austerity? Five HSBC fat cats share £35 million – Shamik Das, March 1st […]

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