Furious shareholders hurled abuse at HSBC bosses yesterday, accusing them of presiding over a string of scandals.
At a stormy public meeting, one campaigner produced a pair of handcuffs for chief executive Stuart Gulliver and branded him a crook.
Others demanded to know if they would ever see an improvement in the bank’s rock-bottom share price.
And there was applause for claims that bosses had sought to ‘blackmail’ the authorities into dropping a review of banking ethics late last year.
Activist investor Michael Mason-Mahon told the bank’s chairman Douglas Flint that he and Gulliver were ‘like a cancer to the name of HSBC’.
It comes as the bank faces a storm of criticism over the Panama Papers tax scandal. Leaked files from law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal HSBC and affiliates asked it to create 2,300 shell companies for clients.
US law enforcement is investigating and some experts have warned that HSBC – which has already faced sharp criticism in America for other money-laundering crises – is at risk of losing its banking licence in the country.
Calling for the board to take a pay cut, Mason-Mahon waved handcuffs in the air and said they were ‘a gift for Mr Gulliver from the Americans’.
A furious Flint told him the stunt was ‘completely out of order’.
When the campaigner called out ‘please tell the truth,’ the chairman snapped back: ‘I am telling the truth.’
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