HSBC’s sharesave scheme attracts highest-ever applications

HSBC’s latest sharesave plan has become the most popular share scheme in the bank’s history, attracting 34,000 applications from UK staff.

The scheme, which closed to applications on 24 April, offered options at a 20% discount to an average of the share price in the preceding weeks. A spokesman said: “The volatility of the share price during that time means the options were at a very low price of £3.31.”

During the six-week offer period, HSBC’s share price climbed in the market rally, and by the close of the scheme, shares were priced at £4.76.

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This rally helped to boost the popularity of the scheme. “We are delighted that employees share confidence in the continued improvement in the share price over the coming years,” added the spokesman.

The scheme also offered a new level of flexibility around the length of time staff could choose to save for. “In previous years, employees had to choose whether to join the three or five-year plan. This time, [they] could mix and match a bit of both.”