February 21, 2017 / 10:10 AM / 6 months ago

HSBC cuts global bonus pool by 12 pct as annual profit slumps

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - HSBC cut its staff bonus pool by 12 percent to $3 billion in 2016 compared with the previous year, the bank said on Tuesday in its annual report, as the bank took into account weaker than expected profits.

HSBC reported its annual profit fell by 62 percent compared with 2015 as the lender grappled with the costs of restructuring its private banking business and low global interest rates that have squeezed profits.

Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver saw his overall payout for the year cut to 5.7 million pounds ($7.09 million) from 7.3 million pounds in 2015, although a new long-term incentive plan means he could end up being paid up to 7.7 million pounds for 2016 if he meets performance targets.

Chairman Douglas Flint's pay for 2016 dipped slightly to 2.1 million pounds from 2.5 million in 2015.

HSBC, which in 2016 paid a total of $18 billion to staff in wages and benefits, last year changed its pay policy for executive directors, bowing to shareholder concerns triggered by a drop in the bank's share price and worries over its dividend.

The five highest paid employees at the bank earned a combined $45 million, with the top earner taking home over $12.9 million. More than 360 of the bank's employees earned over 1 million euros ($1.05 million) in the year, according to its annual report. ($1 = 0.8044 pounds) ($1 = 0.9483 euros) (Reporting by Lawrence White, editing by Louise Heavens)

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