HSBC Halves UK Pension Deficit with Cash Infusion

December 27, 2005 ( - The funding deficit for the British pension funds of HSBC is now about half of its former size with the bank pumping in £1 billion in new assets.

According to news reports, HSBC got about £700 million from its parent company, with £300 million siphoned from British operations. The bank’s pension funding deficit had been pegged at £2.1 billion.

HSBC’s payment eased a deficit in the retirement funds largely inherited from Midland Bank, which it acquired for £3.9 billion in July 1992. The final-salary pension plan, which was closed to new entrants in 1996, has about 106,000 members.

A spokesman for HSBC told reporters: “We are committed to ensuring that our pension funds are properly supported and have taken this action to demonstrate this commitment.”

HSBC’s British bank employs 55,000 workers and is expected to contribute pre-tax profits of about £3.2 billion this year. Overall, HSBC – the world’s second-biggest bank after Citigroup – is slated to notch up pre-tax profits of almost £12 billion in 2005.