HSBC Holdings Plc’s (00005.HK) Hong Kong branch and Hang Seng Bank Ltd. (00011.HK) are reportedly freezing the salaries of back-office staff while implementing a 1-3 percent pay hike for some low-ranking workers.
The salary freeze comes even after the staff passed their performance evaluation, while the pay increases are aimed at helping lower-ranked workers cope with the estimated 3.5 percent inflation level this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal said Tuesday, citing media reports.
The fixed component of the remuneration for the two banks’ more than 200 higher-ranked staff will also be frozen, according to the newspaper.
Last year, staff costs rose 4.11 percent at Hang Seng Bank and 5.08 percent at Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., including all its divisions in the Asia Pacific region.
The HSBC subsidiary refused to comment, while Hang Seng said it would review salary levels in accordance with staff performance assessments and market trends.
Two other key banks in the city, The Bank of East Asia Ltd. (00023.HK) and Standard Chartered Plc. (02888.HK), are also adjusting salaries based on staff performance, the report said.
Translation by Vey Wong
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