HSBC board expected to give up 2008 bonuses

The boss of HSBC is expected to forgo millions of pounds in bonuses as the bank embarks on a record-breaking cash call to shore up its balance sheet.

HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan and other members of the HSBC board will attempt to head off criticism about their compensation as the bank’s worsening finances are laid bare. Geoghegan, who earns £1m a year, received a bonus of £1.9m in 2007.

The bank is reportedly also preparing to outline a bonus structure that would require bigger parts of any bonuses to be deferred over a number of years.

However, executives of the bank based in Hong Kong, which has fared better in the economic crisis, are likely to take their entitlements.

Until now, HSBC had been one of the few leading banks in the developed world not to raise fresh funds. It will aim to raise between £12bn and £13bn through its existing shareholders,

Last week, former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin refused to hand back a pension worth £16.6m.Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman warned him he “should not count on being £650,000 a year better off”.

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