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HSBC bosses due before MPs over claims bank helped clients evade taxes

Stuart Gulliver and Douglas Flint Credit: PA Wire

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver and chairman Douglas Flint are due before a panel of MPs today over allegations that the bank's Swiss arm helped wealthy customers dodge tax.

They are expected to appear before the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

Mr Gulliver has voiced the bank's regret over the conduct and compliance of its Swiss private banking arm and said that the practices were a "source of shame and reputational damage" for the banking giant, while Mr Flint said HSBC needed to reinforce controls and demonstrate their effectiveness.

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Payday lenders to have to share deals on comparison sites

Online payday lenders will be ordered to publish details of their products on at least one price comparison website under plans by the competition watchdog to make it easier for borrowers to shop around.

Payday lenders will have to share deals on comparison sites Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has made the finding following a investigation, lasting nearly two years, into the payday lending market, which found that a lack of price competition between lenders has led to higher costs for borrowers.

It found that most borrowers do not shop around, partly because of the difficulties in accessing clear and comparable information on the cost of borrowing and a lack of awareness of late fees and additional charges.

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  1. Joel Hills

A bad year for HSBC but 320 staff earned more than €1m

So 2014 clearly was not a good year for HSBC. The investment bank made less money but the group as a whole continued to pay penalties for past abuses whether it was in terms of fines or indeed compensation.

It still made a lot of money - just over £12 billion for 2014, down though by 17% on the year before. Profits fell, so did the amount the chief executive earns. Stuart Gulliver took home £7.6m for last year. His bonus was cut by £500,000 because the bank failed to prevent traders manipulating the currency markets.

Remember that fine came at the tail end of last year. The overall bonus pool was also smaller, but 320 staff earned more than a million Euros each. Labour said the scale of the bonuses was astounding given the revelations of the last few days.

Low Pay Commission: Raise national minimum wage by 20p

The Government has announced that the Low Pay Commission has recommended a 20p an hour increase in the national minimum wage to £6.70.

Low Pay Commission: Raise national minimum wage by 20p. Credit: PA

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "If this recommendation were accepted, the value of the minimum wage would be higher than when we came to office in 2010 and we are now making good progress towards restoring the value it lost during the financial crisis."

The Government is to study the suggestion and make a decision later, possibly in next month's Budget. The recommendations for the 2015 rates are £6.70 (adult rate) £5.30 (18-20 rate); £3.87 (16-17 rate) and £2.80 (apprenticeship rate).

HSBC chief executive earned £7.6m despite poor year

HSBC Stuart Gulliver earned a bonus of £1.3 million last year. Credit: PA

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver earned £7.6 million in 2014 - including a bonus of £1.3 million and an "allowance" of £1.7m - it was revealed today as the group announced its annual figures.

My Gulliver's bonus was down from last year's £1.8 million, mainly due to the impact of a £216 million fine from the Financial Conduct Authority relating to HSBC's failure to prevent the rigging of foreign exchange operations.

The group today announced a 17 percent fall in its annual profits and Gulliver admitted the bank had "disappointed" in 2014.

HSBC report 17% drop in profits

HSBC became embroiled in a tax avoidance row this month. Credit: PA

HSBC has reported a 17 percent drop in annual pre-tax profits to £12.1 billion.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver admitted that the banking giant had "disappointed" last year, as its share price slid 3 percent in early trading today.

The results were announced as Mr Gulliver was dragged into the ongoing furore over the bank's tax activities following the disclosure that he has a bank account in Switzerland to hold bonus payments.

The group has been mired in allegations that its Swiss private banking subsidiary helped thousands of wealthy clients avoid tax.

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