HSBC gives Hong Kong staff extra day off for perseverance

Bloomberg Hong Kong | Updated on December 02, 2019

File photo   -  REUTERS

HSBC makes around 90 per cent of its profit in Asia

HSBC Holdings Plc is giving its Hong Kong employees an extra day off next year in a gesture of encouragement as six months of continuing street protests have roiled the financial hub.

The move was announced in a memo to staff on Monday by Diana Cesar, the banks local chief executive.

Thanks to your perseverance and dedication, HSBC has been able to sustain our operation and stand by our customers in these unprecedented circumstance, Cesar said in a memo.

The memo was confirmed by Maggie Cheung, a bank spokeswoman.

HSBC, which employs about 21,000 of people in the city, makes around 90 per cent of its profit in Asia. Hong Kong’s trade-dependent economy has been pushed into recession this year as political turmoil closed businesses and kept tourists away at a time when output was already slowing due to weaker global demand.

A media report also stated that the HSBC Hong Kong is planning to freeze salaries for its top executives next year amid pressure from trade tension and the protests. The lender has completed compensation reviews for next year and submitted the plan to parent HSBC Holdings for approval, Apple Daily reported, citing an unidentified source.

Senior staff, including managers and chief executives will be given a salary freeze, while junior staff of band four to eight will have a minimal pay increase rise, the report stated.

As always, our reward decisions are based on employee performance and behaviour, taking into account local market considerations, she said.

The bank in its third-quarter report credited its operations in Asia with holding up earnings even amid challenges in the region and the turmoil in Hong Kong. Its adjusted pre-tax profit in Hong Kong rose 1 per cent to $3 billion, but the lender also flagged a charge of $90 million to reflect a deteriorating outlook in the city, where small- and medium-sized businesses are suffering the most.

Published on December 02, 2019

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