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It was a good year for the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation.

HSBC’s 2022 results show the bank is still a millionaire-maker

HSBC’s 2022 results are out – and the bank has made more millionaires than in recent history.

What CEO Noel Quinn described as “another good year for HSBC” would have been a blockbuster at some of the other investment banks in the world – Global Banking & Markets, the investment banking division, saw a revenue increase of 10% and a profit increase of 8%. And other segments of the bank, such as wealth management, performed even better.

The bank identifies key Material Risk Takers (MRTs) in its annual report – big shots, essentially, who have a material impact on the risk profile of the firm – and breaks out their pay, as do other Asia-centric banks headquartered in Europe, such as Standard Chartered.

As a consequence of strong results (and certainly, to a degree, inflation), the bank paid more people across the bank over $1m in 2022 than in both 2021 and 2020. However, MRTs in global banking and markets - the investment bank - fared slightly worse than they have in other years.

Although there were more MRTs global banking and markets in 2022 than 2021, they shared a smaller compensation pool between them, with both fixed and variable pay down, per head, YoY. The “average” investment banking MRT at HSBC took a total pay cut of around 12%, as bonuses were cut by 17% to $672k compared to 2021. However, they will still higher than both 2019 and 2020. 

Pay cuts in the investment bank came as the overall HSBC bonus pool was cut by 4%. Bloomberg reported that the bank tried to protect juniors from the cuts. HSBC's annual report said that there was "robust differentiation" for each individual's performance, and its "highest performers received meaningful variable pay increases compared with the previous year. "

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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