In Brief

HSBC reveals 59% gender pay gap

Bank blames low number of women in senior roles for massive discrepancy

HSBC has revealed a gender pay gap of 59%, one of the biggest yet disclosed by a British bank.

According to a copy of the lender’s report on the subject seen by Reuters and confirmed by an HSBC spokesperson, last year the bank had a 29% median gender pay gap for its UK banking operations.

However, the company also reported a 59% gap on the mean measure for hourly pay for 2017, rising to 60% as of February this year.

The median figure refers to the midpoint of all salaries from lowest to highest, while the mean describes the total wage bill divided by the number of employees, “which means it can be skewed by a small number of very highly paid workers”, says the BBC.

The bank’s report also shows an 86% difference between average bonuses paid to women and men.

Like other financial institutions, HSBC said the size of the gap reflected the fact there are fewer women in leadership roles. Women make up more than half of HSBC’s UK workforce (54%) yet less than a quarter of its senior roles (23%).

The whopping gender pay gap is one the biggest yet reported by a British financial firm. Of those who have reported their gender pay gap figures, Standard Chartered (30%) and Virgin Money (32.5%), which is the only major UK lender run by a woman, are among the worst offenders.

As part of Theresa May’s drive to bring discrepancies in pay between men and women, all firms with more than 250 staff must report their gender pay gap to the Government by 4 April.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the powerful Treasury committee of MPs, chaired by Nicky Morgan, “is prepared to call big banks into Parliament to give evidence and account for their wide pay gaps”.

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