The Great Merlin Project. Part Two.

The Great Merlin Project: Part Two.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank has just made the fullest disclosure yet of it’s bonuses, both in the UK and world wide.
Under Hong Kong rules “highest paid individually globally”, whether on the board of directors or not, received over £34 million in bonuses shares and pensions. But under UK Merlin rules the 5 highest paid “senior executives” received just over £12 million. This reveals that under Merlin rules banks can hide £22 million going to top traders.
This clearly undermines a Treasury claim that the Coalition Government had produced “world leading” disclosure on pay. The Treasury’s defence was that they were only interested in the 5 individuals reporting to the chief executive. So, directors pay is deemed to be more revealing traders pay. But if some traders pay is higher than some directors pay, this is in itself revealing about the Bank’s pay policy.
Further the bank has revealed, earlier than it need have done, that 186 UK employees have earned just over £1 million last year.
So the Treasury’s Merlin rules disclose much less about pay and bonuses than the Hong Kong rules. Further, will British based banks reveal traders bonuses as well as directors’ bonuses? Watch this space.

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