A source close to the banking giant revealed that staff in New York, Hong Kong and London were informed about the changes last week, with employees in the company's global banking and markets units also set for a pay rise.
"As UK politicians intensify warnings about the payment of mega-bonuses, HSBC may legitimately be able to point to a sharply reduced bonus pot," said Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman. "The move could lend HSBC a small advantage."
British and European regulators have applied particular pressure to the financial sector to discourage risk-taking behavior by rebalancing standard pay and supplementary performance-related remuneration.
The news came after the UK Treasury announced that chancellor George Osborne had altered the terms of a one-off tax due to be levied on banks following complaints from HSBC and Standard Chartered.
By Asim Shah