The pay of HSBC’s chief executive has reached nearly £8m. Those who object to yawning inequality are helpless.
Witty Robin Hood financial tax campaigners were demonstrating outside HSBC’s AGM on Friday. As shareholders queued outside the Westminster venue, protesters dressed as pin-striped fat cats laundered fake £50 notes in a washing-up bowl with giant scrubbing brushes, a visual reminder of what the bank got up to.
HSBC has been fined £1.2bn for laundering Mexican drug money, with its annual accounts setting aside £773m to cover ongoing tax investigations. PIRC, the pensions and investments research consultants who rate company performance on behalf of shareholders, noted HSBC’s 62% drop in profits last year, and the bank has closed 62 UK branches and shifted 1,000 jobs to Paris due to Brexit. The Financial Conduct Authority rates HSBC as the second-worst bank for customer complaints about banking, credit cards and mortgages.
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