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HSBC axes planned pay freeze

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HSBC is to end plans to freeze staff pay this year following protests by employees.

The bank stated in January that it would impose restrictions on pay and hiring.

However staff, who had already been told by managers how much their pay rises would be, protested, and according to reports the bank has now confirmed it will remove the bar on increased salaries.

In a memo to staff this week, chief executive Stuart Gulliver said pay rises would be funded by HSBC’s 2016 variable bonus pool, which was planned to be used to bonuses to be paid next year.

Gulliver said: “We will therefore proceed with the pay rises as originally proposed by managers as part of the 2015 pay review, noting that, consistent with prior years, not all staff will receive a pay rise.”

The planned freeze on salaries came as part of a focus on cost reduction at HSBC, which announced a swathe of job cuts last June in a plan to reach $5bn in savings by 2017.

Meanwhile, the bank is yet to announce a decision on whether to relocate its headquarters from London.

HSBC first announced a review in April last year, and is expected to reach a verdict imminently, with potential alternatives including Hong Kong.

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