HSBC, the UK’s largest bank, said on Thursday that it also had the largest gender pay gap among large banks.
Women are paid a staggering 59 percent less than men, on average, according to the difference in hourly pay last year.
The figures are for HSBC Bank, the group’s biggest UK entity, which employs more than 23, 500 people.
The bank said the gap, which was expected to increase to 60 percent this year, was due to the fact that more than half of the bank’s staff were women, but they made up just 23 percent of senior leadership roles.
Meanwhile, women held 67 percent of the bank’s junior roles.
Like many other financial firms, HSBC argued that equal pay wasn’t the problem, it was the distribution of women in the company’s hierarchy.
The bank’s median gender pay gap was 29 percent, which was not the worst in the industry, but still more than three times the UK average.
The median pay gap in the UK was 9.1 percent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
At HSBC, the disparity between the mean and median pay gaps is further evidence of how few women there are in higher paid positions.
The UK government requires all companies with more than 250 employees in the UK to disclose gender pay gaps by April 4this year.
Of the 2, 300 companies that have reported thus far, the financial services industry has revealed some of the biggest pay gaps.
For example, last month, Barclays said that women in its investment bank division earned on average 48 percent less than men./Quartz Media