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HSBC posts billions in profits but attacks staff pensions

HSBC posts billions in profits but attacks staff pensions

04 March 2013

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has expressed anger over HSBC's £13.7 billion profits as the bank plans to close its final salary pension scheme, leaving loyal long serving staff with the prospect of hardship in retirement.

In January of this year HSBC informed 10,000 staff that it intends to close the final salary pension scheme to future accrual (build-up of value) in a devastating blow to scheme members. Many of the staff affected earn as little as £14,000 a year. The bank has also announced it is reducing holidays by two days a year. The company claims these proposals will save the bank £46 million a year.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said:  "Long serving HSBC staff earning as little as £14,000 a year are having their pensions attacked while the bank announces astronomical profits. In an act of sheer pettiness the billion dollar bank is snatching two days holiday a year from its staff and cutting sick pay. The savings the bank is making from these changes are a drop in the ocean compared to its profits and the bonuses being awarded. HSBC can easily afford to provide decent pensions to all its staff.

"204 employees at the bank are pocketing bonuses almost four times more than the savings the company is making by attacking pensions and holidays - it's an outrage. There will be little sympathy for David Cameron's and Boris Johnson's opposition to a cap on bankers' bonuses when banks like HSBC behave so unacceptably."

ENDS

Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.