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HSBC cancels 2016 pay freeze: memo from CEO Gulliver

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Europe's largest lender HSBC has cancelled its planned 2016 pay freeze, although it is keeping a hiring freeze in place, a memo from chief executive Stuart Gulliver seen by Reuters said on Thursday.

[LONDON] Europe's largest lender HSBC has cancelled its planned 2016 pay freeze, although it is keeping a hiring freeze in place, a memo from chief executive Stuart Gulliver seen by Reuters said on Thursday.

Pay rises will be funded from the bank's 2016 variable bonus pool, which was meant for bonuses paid out in 2017, the memo from Gulliver said.

Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that HSBC was imposing a hiring and pay freeze across the bank globally in 2016.

Gulliver said that following feedback on the pay freeze and the way it was communicated, he had "listened to this feedback and have as a result decided to change the way these cost savings are to be achieved".

"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."

Bonuses for 2015, which are due to be paid in 2016, will not be affected, the memo said.

REUTERS