Staff at HSBC are threatening to strike over proposed pay cuts – on the day that the high street bank has announced record profits in excess of £9bn.
If the strike goes ahead it will be the first time banking staff have taken industrial action since 1997.
The Amicus union said it will call for strikes to resist company plans to cut bonuses, and a pay offer which it claims will leave many staff worse off than they were last year.
Out of 25,000 HSBC staff covered by the Amicus negotiated pay arrangements, up to10% will receive no pay rise at all this year and a further 40% will get below inflation rises, the union said.
The bank has also introduced a new bonus scheme which Amicus believes will be detrimental to most staff, but will particularly prejudice longer-serving, more loyal staff as it will cease to be calculated based on salary.
Rob O’Neill, national officer at Amicus, said: “How can a bank which is making so much money squeeze the pay of exactly the same staff who have contributed to the success of the business and expect them to take it lying down?
“These massive profits will mean yet another bonanza for shareholders and the boardroom, but no such luck for staff.
“Amicus is prepared to ballot its members for industrial action unless HSBC gives its UK staff an equitable share of the profits in the same way they do for shareholders and boardroom members.”
A HSBC spokesman admitted that one in 10 staff will not get a payrise but said they were already well-paid. The bank has set aside £162m to cover the pay deal and bonuses.
“The money is being targeted at staff who earn less that the market rate paid by the other big banks,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Those who would not get a salary rise are already paid more than the going rate.”