HSBC investors should reject the bank’s “excessive” executive pay plans at its annual general meeting, according to a shareholder advisory group, which branded the position of chairman Douglas Flint “untenable”.
Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) advised shareholders to oppose the re-election of Flint at the meeting on 22 April.
Pirc said it had concerns over the variable pay of chief executive Stuart Gulliver, which exceeded 200% of his salary. It also described his benefits package – worth 50% of salary – as “excessive and inappropriate”.
Pirc welcomed some of HSBC’s plans to limit future benefits for executives but said “changes are still considered insufficient to align with best practice”.
The group said Flint’s position had become untenable because he was finance director at a time when there were regulatory breaches for which HSBC was later fined.
It said: “Pirc would expect such issues to require intense scrutiny by the board of the position of the finance director and the auditors. Given this, it is considered that Mr Flint has failed in his responsibilities and his position is untenable.”
HSBC declined to comment.
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