HSBC chief set to donate bonus to charity: reports
HONG KONG: Michael Geoghegan, the chief executive of banking giant HSBC, will on Monday announce plans to donate his annual bonus of nearly 4 million pounds (6.1 million US dollars) to charities, reports said.
Geoghegan, who relocated from HSBC's London headquarters to Hong Kong in February, is expected to discuss his bonus at a press conference to unveil the banking titan's annual results for 2009 on Monday.
"He and his wife have always been keen on doing charity for children and that is what he is considering to do with his bonus," the South China Morning Post quoted a source as saying.
Education Africa, which specialises in supporting school projects for children in Africa, is a potential beneficiary, the newspaper said.
The banking sector is currently wrestling with the dilemma of rewarding top executives amid public outcry over lavish pay and excessive risk-taking in the industry, seen as a major cause of the global financial crisis.
Geoghegan and other UK-based executive directors at HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, took no bonuses for 2008 following dismal results due to losses racked up at its subprime lending business in the United States.
Other top banks in the UK -- Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group -- said they would waive 2009 bonuses for their executives.
Reports said the situation for HSBC was more tricky, as unlike many of its peers, it did not need a government bail out and has weathered the downturn relatively successfully.
However, Stephen Green, chairman of the bank, has publicly criticised excesses in banker pay, and asked the HSBC board to stop awarding him a bonus three years ago, according to Dow Jones Newswires.