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[LONDON] HSBC Holdings Plc appointed Sam Laidlaw chairman of its remuneration committee as Europe's largest bank grapples with a political fallout over aiding tax evasion and the use of offshore accounts by employees.
Mr Laidlaw, a former chief executive officer of energy supplier Centrica Plc, will also become chairman of the nomination committee, replacing Simon Robertson in both roles after the annual general meeting on April 24, HSBC said in a statement on Friday. The bank also appointed Rachel Lomax, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, as a senior independent director and member of the nomination committee.
HSBC has come under public scrutiny after fresh details emerged last month on how its private bank helped clients evade taxes. CEO Stuart Gulliver faced additional lawmaker questions for personal tax arrangements, with bonuses paid into a Swiss bank account linked to a company registered in Panama, about a decade before he took on his role in 2011.
Mr Robertson will stay on the board as deputy chairman for another year after the AGM, according to the statement.
HSBC said in its annual report published on Friday that Mr Gulliver's base salary will remain at 1.25 million pounds (S$2.57 million) this year, with the fixed-pay allowance also unchanged at 1.7 million pounds. His total compensation was 7.6 million pounds for 2014.
Chairman Douglas Flint, who isn't eligible for a bonus, will receive an unchanged base salary of 1.5 million pounds for 2015.
The highest-paid senior executive at HSBC earned US$9.9 million in 2014, according to the annual report, which didn't identify the individual.
European regulators have stepped up pressure on banks to review executive compensation after a series of scandals ranging from manipulation of interest-rate benchmarks to tax-evasion schemes. HSBC was among six firms paying a total US$4.3 billion to regulators last year for rigging currency markets.