HSBC Results Show Banks Contempt For Law

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HSBC released its annual results today, reporting a £13.3 billion profit, and £2.5 billion in bonuses to top staff.

New analysis from Move Your Money released today shows that over the last 5 years executive rewards at HSBC have been more closely correlated to shareholder value than to fines for financial crime, regulatory action, or a variety of traditional performance measures – such as profitability, share price or market capitalisation.

Releasing the analysis, Fionn Travers-Smith, Campaign Manager of Move Your Money said “Today’s bonus figures go to show just how far above the law giant mega-banks like HSBC really are.

“Our analysis shows that bankers reward themselves for delivering returns to shareholders no matter what the cost to society or other stakeholders. If certain activities make money for the bank then its staff are likely to be paid higher bonuses, even if those activities are later found to be illegal.

“The bank has faced no repercussions from the Government or the supine regulator for designing and abetting illegal tax evasion, and now its executives are pocketing huge wads of cash as a reward. Bank staff are simply not being held to account for their criminal activity, either by the Government or by the bank itself.

“By refusing to take any meaningful action on big bank criminality, the Government is not only giving HSBC a get out of jail free card, it is boosting bankers’ bonuses for the privilege as well.”

HSBC recently escaped further investigation from both HMRC and the FCA for its role in designing, facilitating and promoting tax evasion and avoidance schemes in its Swiss subsidiary.