HSBC boss wades into general election campaign with David Cameron ‘snub’ at turbulent AGMComments Off on HSBC boss wades into general election campaign with David Cameron ‘snub’ at turbulent AGM
After announcing a review of its UK base, the bank also said the majority of its more than 260,000 staff were “incensed” by the devastating blows to HSBC’s reputation by allegations about he activities of its Swiss unit.
Flint said of that and the lengthy list of other regulatory investigations and misdeeds: “It is a terrible list. It is no defence that it is shared by many, and indeed all, of our peers. I and my colleagues share your frustrations.”
As well as the protests outside the meeting, he was forced to listen to several angry speeches from the floor about its conduct and remuneration policy.
One shareholder described Flint and chief executive Stuart Gulliver as “like rabbits caught in the headlights” during their appearance before the Treasury Committee and attacked the review of the bank’s headquarters for potentially “making British workers unemployed”.
But Sir Simon Robertson, deputy chairman and senior independent director, defended Flint and Gulliver, who has come under fire for using a Swiss account registered to a Panamanian company for receipt of his pay while working in Hong Kong.
“I want to stress that the board has full confidence in Douglas, Stuart and the rest of the team. There are no plans to change any of them. I know I speak for the whole board.”
Protesters pose at outside the venue for HSBC’s AGM (Picture: Yui Mok, PA)
But the bank endured a rebellion over the remuneration report put together by the committee he chairs.
More than 23% of the bank’s shareholders voted against, indicating that considerable unhappiness remains.