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HSBC executive bonuses attacked by Knight Vinke

Knight Vinke, the asset management firm, is continuing its shareholder campaign against senior management at HSBC.

It has suggested that the bank’s incentive scheme was misrepresented to shareholders, giving the impression that executive bonus payments would be much less generous than they truly are.

Knight Vinke has today placed advertisements in The Times and other newspapers accusing the bank of giving the impression that the performance criteria of the scheme were more demanding than they really were.

The investment manager claims that the rules of the scheme were drawn up in a lax manner and as a result, HSBC may have breached the Financial Services and Markets Act, and the listing rules.

Eric Knight, Knight Vinke’s founder, is opposed to the bank’s business strategy and the timing of the latest phase of his campaign is designed to cause maximum embarrassment.

Stephen Green, HSBC’s chairman, and Mike Geoghegan, the bank’s chief executive, are due to make a presentation to institutions in London this afternoon.

If HSBC earnings are in line with forecasts, Mr Green is expected to receive £1.2 million from the bonus scheme and Mr Geoghegan, £1 million.

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