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HSBC removes sales incentives for staff

Customer satisfaction and sales quality to come first

HSBC logo

HSBC has announced a new incentive scheme for staff that no longer focuses on sales targets. Which? welcomes the move following its campaign for Big Change in banking, which calls for banks to put customers before sales.

HSBC says it removed sales targets for its customer-facing staff at the beginning of 2013. The change will affect HSBC, First Direct and M&S Bank staff, who will now be incentivised on customer satisfaction and sales quality.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said: ‘I’m delighted to see HSBC taking steps that will prioritise service over sales, and we want to see all banks doing the same.’

Quality comes first

HSBC says it plans to reward staff for building long term relationships with customers. Antonio Simoes, head of HSBC in the UK, commented: ‘We have changed how we assess and reward our employees, removing any sales targets, so that they can completely focus on serving our customers’ needs and providing superior service.

‘We want our customers to know they can depend on HSBC to do the right thing for them and this is the absolute focus of our employees.’

Peter Vicary-Smith said: ‘This is part of what needs to be done if we are to restore trust in banking. We want all bankers to meet high professional standards and comply with a fully independent code of conduct, backed by statute, with genuine sanctions for malpractice.’

HSBC is not the first of the big banks to change its incentive scheme. Earlier this year Barclays’ staff were told to sign its new ethical code of conduct or leave the bank.

Big Change in banking

Peter Vicary-Smith added: ‘Consumers have been let down by the banks for too long. 2013 must be the year that we finally see big change in banking, with banks that work for customers, not bankers. This is the start of that journey for HSBC – a key step, but only the first of many.’

So far, more than 130,000 people have pledged their support for our Big Change campaign. Which? wants to fix banking culture and has outlined the following demands:

  • Bankers should put customers first, not sales
  • Bankers must meet professional standards and comply with a code of conduct
  • Bankers must be punished for mis-selling and bad practice

You can show your support for the campaign by signing our online pledge.

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