HSBC has revealed that its chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver and its staff received a bumper boost in bonuses for 2013 as the bank successfully cut costs and operating charges last year.
According to HSBC's latest financial results statement, it boosted its bonus pool to $3.9bn (£2.3bn, €2.8bn) in 2013, from $3.9bn in 2012.
Meanwhile Gulliver will receive $8m in pay and benefits for 2013, compared with $6.4m in 2012.
Gulliver also added that the bank will ask shareholders to approve paying bonuses worth up to 200% of fixed pay at the next Annual General Meeting in May this year.
In November 2013, Gulliver pledged to protect bankers' bonuses and "competitive salaries" against new European Union laws coming into force over the next few years.
Speaking on an investor call, Gulliver said he "will do what[ever] it takes to protect [the bank's] competitive position on pay amid the EU bonus cap."
HSBC completed 46,000 job cuts by May 2013 and sold off or closed off around 60 business units to shore up cash.
Earlier in 2013, HSBC revealed that headcount could fall to between 240,000 and 250,000 by 2016. Last year the bank's global headcount stood at 261,000.
The EU Council pushed through the plan earlier this year to cap bankers' bonuses at a maximum of double their salary from 2015.
The measure will come in on 2014's bonuses that will be paid out at the start of 2015.
However, under draft guidelines produced by the European Banking Authority (EBA), lawmakers are debating whether to permit a bonus cap of 250% of bankers' salaries.
It also appears that bankers' pay rules could be relaxed to allow deferred payments over five years.
HSBC 2013 Result Highlights
Profit before tax (PBT): $22.6bn in 2013 versus $20.6bn 2012
Underlying PBT: $21.6bnin 2013 versus $15.3bn in 2012
Earnings per share and dividends per share: $0.84 and $0.49 respectively in 2013 versus $0.74 and $0.45 for 2012
Return on equity: 9.2% in 2013 versus 8.4% in 2012
Revenue: $63.3bn in 2013 versus $61.6bn in 2012