HSBC set for £15.6bn profit haul

HSBCHSBC is set to unveil one of the biggest profit hauls in the history of UK banking - triggering another windfall for its chief executive.

Stuart Gulliver is expected to receive a bonus of around £2 million as part of a total pay and benefits package reportedly worth between £6 million and £7 million for 2012.

The award, which comes despite HSBC's record fine of 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.2 billion) to settle a US investigation into money-laundering, will be announced alongside pre-tax profits of 23.4 billion US dollars (£15.6 billion), according to City forecasts.

That is just shy of the bank's record haul of 24 billion US dollars seen in 2007 and will be the biggest profit by a British bank since before the financial crisis.

The banking group makes an estimated 90% of its money outside Britain and has benefited from its exposure to emerging markets in Asia.

HSBC suffered massive losses at the start of the financial crisis due to its investment in the American sub-prime mortgage lender Household Finance, but since taking over as chief executive in 2011 Mr Gulliver has led an overhaul of the bank's operations.

He has cut about 10% of its headcount and withdrawn from 46 countries, as well as sold off a number of general insurance businesses.

Mr Gulliver's bonus of £2 million, which compares with £2.1 million last year, will be deferred and subject to possible clawback, while he will not be able to cash it in until he retires from or leaves HSBC.

Sky News also reported that HSBC will for the first time publish a single figure for the aggregate pay and benefits packages awarded to Mr Gulliver and his most senior colleagues. It is designed to show compliance with new Government rules on disclosure that will come into force later this year. Mr Gulliver is entitled to a total package worth £12.5 million, including long-term share awards, but is likely to receive about half that sum.

The US fine will have an impact on the company's overall bonus pool, which is expected to be in the region of £2 billion against the £2.8 billion seen in 2011.