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Park Ave. duplexes for all!

Living in Manhattan can be so expensive, particularly when you’re only eeking by on $1 or $2 million a year. There’s the overpriced apartments, the fancy prep schools, the constant tipping. Good thing HSBC (HBC), the bank based in the UK and Hong Kong, is covering some of those expenses for top executives at its American subsidiary, HSBC USA. In a K filed on Monday, the company disclosed that it had paid $272,000 last year for CEO Martin Glynn’s humble abode, even though Glynn made over $2 million last year in salary and bonus. Brian Robertson, who heads up the company’s investment banking unit, must have an even nicer pad: HSBC paid $288,393 in housing expenses for him, even though he made $1.1 million in salary and bonus. In comparision, COO Brendan McDonough’s apartment seems downright shabby: the bank only forked over a little over $11,000 a month for his apartment, a change from 2003, when the bank paid around $14K a month in rent and another $124K for what the filing describes as “children’s educational expenses.” Even by Manhattan standards, these rents are pretty oversized. For example, AT&T (T) disclosed last year that it was paying $12K a month for CEO Dave Dorman’s apartment that overlooked Central Park. HSBC is paying nearly twice that amount for two of its top executives. Do these guys deserve to live in nice apartments? Absolutely. Do their kids deserve good schools? Without a doubt. But why are HSBC’s investors forced to pay for it?