HSBC Uses Little Restraint with Geoghegan Severance Deal

Geoghegan's severance package is already ruffling some feathers within the Government.

Geoghegan’s severance package is already ruffling some feathers within the Government.

After word of Geoghegan’s severance package surfaced this weekend, HSBC should be in for an interesting Monday morning. With figures between 20 million and 36 million pounds being tossed about, HSBC is sure to get an earful from not just business secretary, Vince Cable, but others as well.

Since the government has made no jokes in sending a message to all the banks about bonus restraint recently, HSBC will have a lot to answer to in reviewing Geoghegan’s final deal. This is coming on the heels of Geoghegan not being announced as the new chairman last Friday. Geoghegan has spent 37 years with the bank and, had more than assumed he would be taking over the reigns as the new chairman.

In a statement from HSBC, the bank said that Geoghegan would receive the amount within his contract, or 1.42 million pounds, and be eligible for a bonus. He will officially be leaving the bank at the end of the year.

However, this past weekend some outlandish figures have surfaced, not even in the same ballpark as what was reported earlier. Figures heard over the weekend ranged from 20 million pounds total to over 36 million pounds. These figures, obviously rubbed a few people the wrong way.

One of those people was Lord Oakeshott, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman. He found little trouble finding words to describe his feelings, saying: “HSBC has come through the banking crisis better than most, but this silk-lined parachute for someone that’s leaving the bank early highlights that HSBC has little interest in British public opinion, and shows why the Banking Commission needs to concentrate on getting the banks to lend to British business and home buyers.”

The UK’s largest company has certainly seen less tumultuous times when major posts changed hands in the past. HSBC was put in an awkward position last week, when it was forced to deny that Geoghegan had threatened to leave the bank if not granted the chairman position.

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