HSBC Holdings PLC is likely to back down after investors opposed a plan to give Chief Executive Officer Michael Geoghegan a pay increase of as much as 40% this year, said a person briefed on the discussions.

The proposal would have increased Geoghegan's base salary to as much as $2.3 million this year, from $1.7 million in 2009, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

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